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Subject: Signage


From: Deborah Rohan <deborah.rohan>
Date: Friday, June 15, 2001
Karen Potje <kpotje [at] cca__qc__ca> writes

>At the Canadian Centre for Architecture we are going to place "Do
>Not Touch" signs near objects which are being displayed without
>plexiglas covers. ...
>Finally--does the "Do Not Touch" message work, or will people touch
>anyway, given the opportunity?

Many years ago I was a summer volunteer at the University of
Pennsylvania Ethnological Museum. They addressed this problem in an
innovative way: they opened a gallery with exhibits meant to be
touched. I acted as a guide there one morning a week. It was
ostensibly for the blind, and we had several school groups come
through from Overbrook and other establishments, but I remember
sighted people enjoying it, too. The first exhibition was on the
human head: a granite Egyptian official, a bronze Roman, a New
Zealand wooden effigy, a New Guinea mask, etc. etc. They were chosen
for their robustness and lack of unique informational value, and
treated to protect them against handling. The exhibits were round
the walls, a foot or so behind a waist-height railing with a braille
label--there were printed labels, too--so the 'viewer' needed only
reach forward and there it was. In the middle they had a huge globe
of the earth with smooth seas, sandpaper deserts (not popular) and
velvet jungles (worn away quite quickly!) Another exhibit was of
representations of birds. They also had an art show of works by
blind artists, some of which were impressively pleasant to feel. I'm
not sure this solves your problem, but it may give someone an idea.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:4
                  Distributed: Tuesday, June 19, 2001
                        Message Id: cdl-15-4-007
Received on Friday, 15 June, 2001

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