Building a museum exhibit requires a lot of planning, teamwork, and just plain hard work! I thought I’d take you on a pictorial tour of the process.
The final exhibit in my museum deals with modern military medicine and how the basic principles are pretty much the same as they were in the Civil War. It also highlights the fact that medical advances made have civilian applications as well. We’ve been fortunate to have support from the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command at Ft. Detrick in developing this exhibit. However, in 2009 it became clear that the exhibit needed to be updated, so with their continued support, we were able to expand and update this exhibit.
|By early March the walls were ready to be painted!|
|Here are the base colors for the walls. The yellow wall is the back wall, and the two side walls are deep red. They won’t stay this plain for long though! The plan is to paint some silhouettes in darker paint along the bottom of the walls.|
|The stencils have been applied to the walls and are ready to be painted.|
|Here the stencils have been painted and the supports for the platform are in place.|
|The next day the paper was peeled away. You can also see an electric outlet that was added to the wall, to accommodate a second television monitor.|
|We were all pleased at how good the stencils looked!|
|This photo was taken in mid-March. The old television monitor is in its new place in the exhibit. Some photos and display panels have been added as well.|
|A second television monitor was added on the opposite wall, and the lettering was applied to the walls.|
|A timeline of medical advances was installed on the back wall. A photo of Major Jonathan Letterman represents the Civil War period on the timeline.|
|It’s almost the end of March now, and it’s finally time to take down that temporary wall. You can see here that the platform has been completed. The exhibit isn’t quite complete yet, but the construction phase is done.|
|Have you ever tried to put an Army uniform and boots on a mannequin? It’s not easy!|
|Next the mannequins have to be secured to the floor – we don’t want them to fall on anyone!|
|We called in some experts to be sure we had all the details of the uniforms correct.|
|Here’s the first mannequin, modeling some Army chemical defense equipment.|
|Our second mannequin is wearing the gear of a Combat Medic/Health Care Specialist. Though normally the numerous pockets on this uniform would hold essential medical items, we made the pockets look full by adding stuffing and small blocks of wood!|
|It’s almost done now! All of the panels, lettering, and other graphics are in place. We’re just waiting on two display tables which will be placed on the platform.|
|Here’s the finished exhibit. Though it required a lot of work and some aggravation, it was definitely worth it!|
Photos courtesy of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.