Tag Archives: MoAR History Please

Designing the Museum of the Future

It seems the Museum of the American Revolution has turned into a favorite and “frequent” haunt of mine for I was there again this past week for a lecture called “Designing the Museum of the Future.” The speaker, Josh Goldblum, is the CEO of Blue Cadet, the A/V company who did all the digital interactive work for M*AR. If you recall that my very first visit to the place was full of sensory overload and that the beautiful layer masks of the intro video got a special call out – this was the guy leading that production team.

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(One of my favorite effects, used throughout, was taking an old ink drawing or etching of a scene and then layering a gradient plus film footage to give that drawing or etching depth and motion. Water scenes were overlaid over actual moving water textures, smoke was overlaid over smoke video footage, and subtle colors brought the scenes to life.)

(This is the link to the M*AR page on Blue Cadet’s website. It’s got some great shots of the museum.)

The lecture was organized by AIGA, the American Institute for Graphic Arts, which is sort of the club to belong to if you want to network yourself most effectively as a designer. There was sort of an interesting dichotomy of attendees – designers in bright, mismatched patters with hair colors not found in nature, next to the more subdued, old school button-down shirts and neutral colored blazers. But what I loved was that a topic like this could bring such disparate groups together.

Mr. Goldblum raised many points that I have at some point or another considered. I am so glad he’s a self-confessed “museum person” – he gets it. Better – he’s in a position to look at different ways of addressing the challenges faced by museums and similar institutions. And because his background is design and technology, these fields are still relatively novel in the museum world so there’s a lot of room to experiment.

One thing this talk did not do was address specific things that museums should do or ought to do, or things that they do that aren’t working. For example, Mr. Goldblum does not offer solutions for successful capital campaigns. This talk was very much more on the effect that technology has had so far on life and how museums are coping.

And so, without further ado, my notes from the talk (with my comments in parentheses):

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Hello.

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moar MoAR!: The Slavery Issue

Is there anything more fitting than visiting the Museum of the American Revolution (again) on Memorial Day? I certainly can’t think of anything, for without the people and events exhibited within, we wouldn’t even have a Memorial Day.

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Tomb of the Unknown (RevWar) Soldier, Washington Square, Philadelphia. The Tomb’s inscription reads, “Beneath this stone rests a soldier of Washington’s army who died to give you liberty.”
 

This was my second trip to the MoAR, and I was determined to focus on content and not exhibit design. I would like to report that I was much more successful this time than last at staying on task, although I did still have an urgent and visceral need to touch every surface I passed.

[EDIT: So concerned am I that I sound ill-informed on this topic that I went to the library and got several books about slavery and the Revolutionary era. Stay tuned…]

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MoAR History, Please

If you’re at all into history, you’ve probably heard that a new museum opened last week in Philadelphia – the Museum of the American Revolution. If you’re not into history, you’ve probably heard about this new museum. It’s kind of a big deal. Me? I’ve only been counting down the days to its opening since probably last…May.

Apparently this museum has been in the works for a long time. From all the television coverage, it sounded like some people have been trying to get a museum dedicated solely to the American Revolution for at least twenty years, maybe since the 80’s, or even earlier. I find it quite impressive that with all of the politics involved in the museum world, they were able to create this at all.

What a museum it is!

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