DIORAMAS

We have all encountered dioramas either while visiting a museum or in a classroom setting. Perhaps you didn’t realize there was a term for such a display. It’s even fun to say… DIORAMA!   The word diorama can refer to a three-dimensional miniature or life-size scene in which figures, stuffed wildlife, and other objects are arranged in a naturalistic setting …

It’s all in the ceiling…

Who knew a ceiling could cause so much trouble?  Earlier this week we began to install the new plaster cornice (also known as crown moulding) in the Parlor as part of the restoration.  As the plaster contractors proceeded with the installation, it became evident that the ceiling was going to pose a problem for us.  The first issue encountered was …

Still Exciting

Museums often share parts of their collection with other institutions upon request. Of course there are rules and regulations, standards to follow, and logistics to coordinate (shipping, insurance, text panels, etc).This loan agreement process makes exhibitions more exciting for recurring visitors. Plus the institutions involved have the best intention for the selected object to be featured in a special way …

Staff trip to DC

As we mentioned in our blog posta couple weeks ago, Stratford Hall staff will often take trips to other museums and historic sites in the winter (when visitation is low). This week, Executive Director Paul Reber, Curator Gretchen Goodell, and Director of Interpretation & Education Abigail Newkirk spent time exploring three very different museums in Washington, DC. The first stop …

Field trips are not just for school children

  Visiting other historic house museums is a very important part of staff training. Learning about what has (or has not) worked at other museums helps us develop our own skills and inspires new ideas. This week the interpretive staff visited James Madison’s Montpelier. Our visit stared with a guided tour of the Treasures of Montpelier exhibit with Carole, our fantastic guide, …

Greetings from AASLH!

  The 2011 AASLH (American Association for State and Local History) Annual Meeting is being held in Richmond, only an hour from Stratford Hall. This proximity made it possible for me (Abigail Newkirk, Director of Interpretation and Education) and Gretchen Goodell (Curator) to attend. This year the theme isCommemoration: The Promise of Remembrance and New Beginnings. Attending conferences is an …

The new Slave Quarters Exhibit

The past month has been a flurry of activity here at Stratford Hall. All summer we have been updating everyone about our preservation and interpretation projects. Over the next three weeks, we will be highlighting three specific projects: West Slave Quarters, Hands-on Activity Room, and Southwest Outbuilding. The exhibits in the West Slave Quarters have been updated and are now …

Summer Projects and Interpretation

As you can see in the last five blog entries, we have been very busy at Stratford Hall this summer. Projects are underway in the Southwest Outbuilding, Slave Quarters, and Kitchen. Extensive research and investigations are in progress for the Historic Structure Report (HSR) and Cultural Landscape Inventory (CLI). So, now what? Two areas greatly impacted by the projects are …

New Temporary Exhibits

  Judy Hynson and I are planning two temporary exhibits to go in our changing exhibition gallery in the Visitor Center. One exhibit space will be dedicated to visitors’ experiences at Stratford Hall. People have visited the Great House at Stratford from the late 1730s to the present for a variety of reasons. Fortunately for us, many of these travelers …