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The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum: A Photo Essay

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FC: The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum: A Photo Essay | Carrie Kelley Exploring Museum Professions Fall 2011

1: The first place to highlight in the museum is the lobby. Not only is this where visitors pay for tickets and received information, it is where they receive their first interaction with the staff. Visitor Services makes sure our staff have the correct information and also the correct manners! The screens, which were implemented by our technical staff, help visitors receive correct information. There was also heavy planning for this by our Board of Trustees and Facilities Manager because the desk pulls apart and can be removed when Mrs. Reagan passes away (to have her body lie in state here).

2: This is the main entrance of the museum , with docents and a unique statute of President and Mrs. Reagan. There was much planning between the curatorial team, the Foundation directors and the Library director on the layout of the lobby, and which donors to acknowledge on the walls. This is a very visible area in the museum, so it was an important decision to make. Docents are also stationed around the museum for visitor questions and information.

3: The introduction theater is the first chance the museum has to "wow" their audience. The Information Specialists, Curator, and IT team worked on making a riveting introduction piece that features two seperate films integrated into one in order to delivera powerful message about President Reagan.

4: The Guide Cam Station is built - in advertisement for an audio tour. These audio tours not only provide information, they also take pictures and video for the visitor and send theinformation to their personal email addresses. These are advertised right when the visitor buys their tickets, and this is where they pick them up and receive a tutorial. This station was obviously a plan in the deisgn of the museum and many staff can be credited with its success, including the Marketing Director, Facilities Manager, and IT Specialist.

5: The Museum also features many interactive exhibits. To the right is the White House Table Interactive. A visitor can look at dinner menus from White Hous eevents, take an etiquette quiz, and build their own floral arrangements and display it on the table. An exhibition designer helped place this table, the curator was consulted for facts, and of course, the IT specialist helped make everything a reality. | The interactive exhibit on the left is where a visitor can "act" with Ronald Reagan. This display features a green screen and a prompt that visitors can read off of in order to act beside young Ronald Reagan in one of his movies. The same team is responsible for this exhibit, especially exhibition design, lighting, and facilities staff.

6: The Library features a replica of President Reagan's Oval Office. This feature is the exact dimensions of the Oval Office in the White House, which required the Facilities Manager and the Directors to make a decision to dig down below ground in order for it to fit (ramp leading to the Oval Office pictured to the right). I think this is a very interesting way to plan for an exhibit, and also shows creative problem solving on the side of the staff at the time.

7: The biggest artifact in the museum by far is Air Force One. Pictured right is the hallway leading to the Pavilion that houses the airplane. The exhibition designers wished to create "The Disney Effect" with this hallway, leading up to the massive airplane at the end. This display to considerable effort to plan on everyone's parts, including the Directors, Curatorial Staff, Marketing, and Facilities.

8: This assignment came at a perfect time, because I was able to provide some photographs of an exhibit de-installation. We just had an exhibit of NASCAR and other historical cars in our temporary exhibition gallery (President Reagan was the first standing president to atend a NASCAR event and the last day of the exhibit was Sunday. This was a wonderful study of how many staff members are involved in the process of installing andde-installing a temporary exhibit.

9: The whole curatorial team was on hand to move smaller artifacts and to help "drive" the cars out of the loading dock door and onto the crane. The Facilities Manager and facilities team were there to oversee the process and make sure nothing was damaged in the process. The Director and Deputy Director were overseeing the process - even the the Director of Marketing was there to oversee interviews and news media that wished to cover the event.

10: After the visitor is done with the temporary galleries, they must walk through the museum store in order to exit the museum. This was planned by Marketing Specialists and the Director of Marketing in order to drive up sales of Reagan merchandise. The deisgn of the entrance also makes the store appealing to those who are passing through, thanks to the designers of the lobby outside.

11: The last opportunity the visitor has before leaving is to see the portion of the Berlin Wall and also to visit the gravesite of President Reagan (pictured in the back). These both are very powerful images to leave the visitor with (and the view is amazing!) The back lawn was inspired in part by the White House lawn, which the Directors wished to replicate, with the help of designers, facility workers, and the curatorial staff (for the Berlin Wall piece).

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  • By: Caroline K.
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