BC: References: Glaser, J. R., & Zenetou, A. A. (1996). Museums: A Place to Work. New York: Routledge. Schlatter, N. E. (2008). Museum Careers: A Guide for Students and Novices. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.
FC: The Udvar-Hazy Center companion facility of THe National Air and Space Museum Jaki Waggamon AS 460.601
1: Welcome to the Udvar-Hazy Center! Gift Shop and Book Signing to the left, Help Desk and IMAX to the right, galleries straight ahead! | One of the most obvious areas located in entrance way is the 'Welcome Center'. Very prominent with multiple staff members to help with way-finding and general questions. Printed maps and other pamphlets were visible to visitors.
2: Security was very apparent at Udvar-Hazy. There were bag checks at the entrance with multiple posted employees. Security was also touring the galleries and answering visitor questions.
3: The fundraising and sales work of the foundation was VERY apparent at Udvar-Hazy. There were multiple drop donation stations with information about the construction of a much needed additional building. Also, touch screens in the galleries had a screen with information about products sold in the gift shop relating to the exhibit. Most of the advertised works were produced by the Smithsonian Institution.
4: One of the most captivating aspects of Udvar-Hazy is the use of informative displays with the aircraft. This is a panoramic image of the cockpit of the Enola Gay. These displays are likely the product of many people including exhibit production staff, exhibit curators, photographers (potentially contracted out) and financial affairs (as these are likely a big budget item to produce.
5: Another common exhibit display was touchscreen technology. Again exhibit producers, exhibit designers and curators are likely to be key players in the creation of these pieces. Also, being high budget, I imagine coordination with the budget is important. Finally, an IT or potentially visitor services department may be responsible for ensuring they are operating properly on a daily basis.
6: The work of exhibit production, curators, and conservators was also apparent as you moved through the museum. The oldest items in the museum often are in the least stable condition making them the hardest to exhibit safely. The top picture shows an ethafoam form supporting a glove, giving it a full shape. Below is an early fabric wing of an aircraft that shows signs of conservation work and signs of needing more conservation work.
7: Below, one can see the work of the collections department. The accession number is visible to the public, and many of the small, case-sized items had visible permanent marks. | Transmitting information to the public was done in three main ways at Udvar-Hazy. Identification only labels, large introduction panels (above), and simple 1-2 paragraph item descriptions. These were likely written by the curator of the exhibit and designed and printed in the exhibits department.
8: I happened upon a guided tour during my visit. There were signs throughout the galleries informing visitors to meet at the visitor services desk in the gallery and what times the tour started. The desk and tours appeared to be staffed by volunteers but they could also have been paid staff.
9: The education center was clearly marked, but tucked away under the gallery stairs. If one wasn't intently looking around the gallery, it could have easily been missed. No one was in the center while I was there, but the equipment and supplies inside were evidence of frequent use.
10: At risk of looking like a stalker, I included this photo. Facilities work plays a major role in all museums. The most obvious facilities position at Udvar-Hazy was a cute little old man, strolling around the galleries , removing finger prints and smudges from all the cases.
11: The Udvar-Hazy Center manages to take a huge layout with a multitude of artifacts and apply method to madness. | Through single aircraft exhibits, artifact displays, text panels, graphic displays, and interactive technology Udvar-Hazy presents air history from the first air vehicles to the most modern spacecraft. | The work of curators, exhibit producers and developers, facilities personnel, volunteers, fundraisers, PR specialists, conservators, Smithsonian foundation employees and many more is apparent through out.