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The American History Museum

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The American History Museum - Page Text Content

BC: The End

FC: The American History Museum | Washington, D.C.

1: Before one even enters the museum, on the path toward the building they see a sign pointing out one of the large draws to the museum, the Star-Spangled Banner. This would be a contribution of development, membership and marketing, something which will drive visitors inside, maybe even turn them into members. It is a simple form of advertising but very easily noticed and appreciated due to the size of the pillar and the obvious and interesting photo.

2: Just inside the entrance to the museum is the visitor center. On the wall is this large map of the building which would fall under development and membership services. Visitors easily can see ares where they want to go on this large map and if they are confused can ask one of the three women who were behind the desk just nearby.

3: Also available in the visitor center were handouts which could guide you through a track spanning different exhibits, in this case suffrage. It would connect the curators and the education department, to put artifacts together beyond the exhibit subjects.

4: These computers in the visitor center provided opportunities for a number of things including signing up for the newsletter or taking a quiz on portions of American history. These interactive systems would involve the technology membership, and education departments. | Rose Sherman talked about the technology department working with all others at a museum; incorporating technology into education and membership is a perfect example. At these kiosks visitors can learn and have the opportunity to stay involved after they leave. (Sherman)

5: Donation pillars like this would be under development and membership. Though the amount of money would be small, Joan Olson talks about every major donor starting as a first time donor and thus a first time visitor. (Olson) Pillars like these will let people feel they are contributing to 'saving treasures,' especially when admission to Smithsonians is free, and will perhaps inspire membership.

6: With most of the items on display come titles, dates, and explanations to the significance of an object, or in some cases just what exactly it is. These bits of information for the public would fall under the curator. The curator is the one who knows the collection and would be able to give such pertinent information.

7: Outside of the Star-Spangled Banner exhibit is a board with a different question each day inviting people to leave thoughts on post it notes. The activity is one which would likely come from the education division. Though it is very simple and not strictly guided in any way, it does invite visitors to think and contribute.

8: Also under the exhibit director and department would be items such as this typewriter. The typewriter is a prop to make the exhibit more interesting and connected to those items which are part of the collection. The exhibition department would need to find these. | This exhibit had the option of an audio tour which one could access by downloading an app onto their phones. The technology, education, and curatorial departments would work together on this to give information about the exhibit and artifacts

9: Last, but not least, the museum is undergoing construction which would fall under the director and the registrar as well as development and exhibitions. The registrar would oversee the details of construction with director approval. The development office would help plan future use of the space and advertise the new opportunities for potential visitors when completed. Exhibitions would most likely use the space for a brand new exhibit of the kind development would promote, possibly even plan a special event around the opening. In summary, "it's what goes on behind the scenes that guarantees the quality of what the public gets to see." (Cocks)

10: Bibliography Joan Grathwol Olson, Interview, Dec. 09, 2008 Rose Sherman, Interview, Jan. 29, 2009 Cocks, A. S. (2008) The reassuring rise of the museum curator. The Art News Paper. (195) Retrieved from

11: Rebecca Dupont Exploring Museum Professions Johns Hopkins University March 20, 2013

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  • By: Rebecca D.
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  • Title: The American History Museum
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