Tag Archives: Arizona

Using Windows for Interpretation

Every historic site (well, perhaps 98% of them) have windows but they are rarely used in the interpretation.  Here are several ways to use windows to set the stage, enhance the experience, or provoke thinking.

1.  Windows can set the stage for interpretation

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park in Dayton, Ohio.

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park in Dayton, Ohio.

The easiest way is to use windows is as an introduction to the site by using a bold image or intriguing message that prepares the visitor for what’s inside.  Perforated vinyl is ideal for this situation because it can display graphics while allowing light to flow inside and permitting views outside.  At the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, perforated vinyl signs on the two-story windows of the visitor center feature enormous Continue reading

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Archives Transferred from his Homes to NYC

Taliesen, Spring Green, Wisconsin, 1932. Drawing by Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which owns and operates Taliesen and Taliesen West–the homes and studios last used by Frank Lloyd Wright–has transferred its architectural archives of papers, drawings, and models to the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library at Columbia University and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  The collection includes more than 23,000 architectural drawings, about 40 large-scale, architectural models, some 44,000 photographs, 600 manuscripts and more than 300,000 pieces of office and personal correspondence. “The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation takes seriously its responsibility to serve the public good by ensuring the best possible conservation, accessibility, and impact of one of the most important and meaningful archives in the world,” said Sean Malone, CEO of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. “Given the individual strengths, resources and abilities of the Foundation, MoMA and Columbia, it became clear that this collaborative stewardship is far and away the best way to guarantee the deepest impact, the highest level of conservation and the best public access.”

The decision to transfer the collections couldn’t have been easy for the Foundation–it’s a significant part of their identity with tremendous historical and cultural value.  Admitting you can’t care for a collection is difficult–but organizations should regularly ask themselves if they’re the only ones to do this work and if someone else can do it better.  It’s especially tough at historic sites and house museums–they typically have the most complex collections management issues of any museum. Not only are they caring for Continue reading