As we mentioned in our blog post a couple weeks ago, Stratford Hall staff will often take trips to other museums and historic sites in the winter (when visitation is low). This week, Executive Director Paul Reber, Curator Gretchen Goodell, and Director of Interpretation & Education Abigail Newkirk spent time exploring three very different museums in Washington, DC.
The first stop was the International Spy Museum. While this museum covers a different subject, it is a extremely popular destination and incorporates a lot of interactives into the exhibits. Dan Treado (Exhibitions Production Manager) walked us through the exhibits and explained some of the ideas for the future.
The second stop was the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. We really wanted to check out the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins. This exhibit had numerous movies, touchscreens, and objects that can be touched by the visitor. One thing we really wanted to check out was MEanderthal - a computer station that morphs your image into a neanderthal. One of our photos is here and you can try it for yourself using a smartphone.
The final stop was the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. There were two exhibits that we wanted to see here: The First Ladies and Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty. You should see the puzzled looks from other visitors we get while crouching down to examine the type of lighting in a museum case or evaluating how easily technicians would be able to access the collection for conservation.