Tag Archives: Ohio

Reimagining Historic House Museums Workshops Returning in 2023

Our last Reimagining House Museums workshop was held at Dumbarton House in Washington, DC in June 2019!

Ken Turino and I will once again lead our workshops on reimagining historic house museums in 2023 after taking several years off due to the pandemic. Our first workshop will be held at the Gamble House in Pasadena, California on Friday, April 1 and our second will be held at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio in Lancaster, Ohio on Thursday, June 22. AASLH is managing the workshop and registration is $325 but it’s $200 for AASLH members (and it’s $150 if you register by February 1!). Participation is limited to 25 people for the April workshop.

The workshop is closely related to the book, Reimagining Historic House Museums (2019), but we take a much deeper dive into the challenges facing house museums, assess current programs against a “double-bottom” line for a big-picture perspective, analyze the five forces that affect programs and events to find opportunities and obstacles, and highlight some of the ways that house museums have reinvented themselves. The day is packed with information and activities, but we take a good break in the middle of the day for lunch and we get to meet lots of other people who are working hard to make their historic site better. Plus it’s great fun!

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