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Subject: Educating museum visitors

Educating museum visitors

From: Rebecca Gee <rebecca.gee<-a>
Date: Monday, August 15, 2005
Shelley Reisman Paine <shelley [at] srpaine__com> writes

>I have a client who wants to construct a display for the lobby of
>her museum that illustrates why visitors should not touch artwork.

I used to work for the National Trust, who have constant issues with
persuading members of the public (and it's definitely not only
children!) not to touch the exhibits/furniture/textiles.

They publish several very good leaflets, probably the best one being
"Detect and Protect: Looking after historic collections, a guide for
visitors of all ages". I am sure if you contact their headquarters
you would be able to get hold of this for inspiration.

In terms of actual displays, one of the most effective things we
used (at Dunster Castle, Somerset), was a series of "touchy-feely"
boxes. These were pieces of wallpaper, fabric and gilded wood--two
of each, one under glass to protect it, and the other inviting
touching. People were very easily able to see the dramatic
differences and perhaps get a better understanding of the "do not
touch" policy. This is also works with samples of faded materials to
explain low light levels. You could use whatever materials you
liked, and anything 'sacrificial' because I think it is the
interaction that really makes an impact.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:10
                Distributed: Wednesday, August 17, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-19-10-015
Received on Monday, 15 August, 2005

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