BC: All Photos Taken by Rebecca Hagen on October 23, 2011 for her Exploring Museum Professions class
FC: Rebecca Hagen's Museum Visit Photo Essay: JAMES MADISON'S MONTPELIER
1: When arriving at Montpelier, one is sent directly to the Visitor Center where the tour will commence. At the VC, almost every department at the museum is represented. In the exhibits and galleries (which cannot be photographed), a number of these departments can be seen. One wing of the VC (to the right of this photograph) houses exhibits that can be used for private and public special events. The Visitor Services/Event department heads this up along with help from the facilities coordinator. In the four exhibit spaces in the VC, the curators, collections managers, registrars, conservators, security, exhibition and lighting staff, and exhibit designer's work can be seen.
2: Directly outside the main entrance to the Visitor Center, one can find several signs pointing visitors in the right direction. Along with these two signs that announce this spot as the starting point for gardens & grounds, and landmark forest tours, there are also signs that point to the cemetery, gardens, mansion, and Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation's barns. These signs greatly aid visitors in wayfinding and are here because of visitor services staff.
3: In the Visitor Center, you can find a museum shop located directly inside of the main entrance. In the shop, museum store staff can be found processing tickets and selling merchandise. Along with dealing with visitor purchases, the museum shop staff also promotes membership and displays brochures throughout the space. The brochures display work done by a print/publication employee. In the shop, the Visitor Services department is prominent.
4: This display is located outside of the main exhibit gallery in the Visitor Center. The theme of the case is Montpelier, "Presidential Detective Story", explaining how the foundation is working on tracking down objects to furnish the newly restored home with. In the exhibit case, one can see the work of a curator, registrar, collections manager, photographer, archaeologist, exhibit designer, and conservator.
5: In the Visitor Center, several brochures representing different departments can be found. I picked up and perused the brochures shown above. The one on the far left is a calendar of events for 2011. In this pamphlet, event, development, photography, print/publications, visitor services, | membership, education, facilities coordinator, and marketing employees can be seen. The brochure to the right of that is publicizing the Curator department donor group, along with some employees listed before, the curator, registrar, collections manager, and exhibit designer staff are | represented. The two brochures to the right are promoting "Montpelier Excursion" packages for local sites, and an archaeological dig program. Along with the positions listed before, archeology staff is also included in this last pamphlet.
6: Throughout the historic home of Montpelier, many different employees from many different departments are represented; Guides from Visitor Services provide tours, curators/exhibition designers develop exhibits, collections managers/registrars protect and care for the collection, facilities staff members maintain the building and grounds, and educators provide specialty tours such as those of school groups.
7: Located in the backyard is the "Hands-On" text for children. At this tent, a visitor can see and experience for themselves how various tasks were done in the Madison's time, such as building a chair, quilting a blanket, and more. This tent represents the education department and visitor services.
8: Also located behind the home is the formal gardens. Daily, visitors can enjoy the space, and at night, special events such as weddings can be held here. This space showcases special events, facilities, and visitor services staff. The special event staff coordinates the events, the facilities staff maintain and plan the garden's usage, and the visitor services staff provide wayfinding signs.
9: This train depot is located outside of the main gates at Montpelier. Built in the early 1900s, the train depot is exhibited to reflect the time of segregation in Orange County, Va., with one (better) side being for waiting "white" passengers, and the other (worse) for waiting "colored" passengers. Here one can see the influence of curatorial, exhibit design, collections management, registrarial, and educational staff, as well as employees from the visitor services and facilities departments.