Stratford Hall: More than a Museum

Hi there! My name is Courtenay Dobbins and I joined the team here at Stratford Hall about ten weeks ago. One aspect of my job as Development and Marketing Communications Assistant is capturing the visitor experience. I snap lots of pictures, record videos, and then post the footage on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr. This inclusion of “social media” is …

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 …

Summer Plans

What are your plans for the summer? A lot will be going on at Stratford over the next few months because this is the start to our busy season. In additional to all the vacationers and staycationers we see every summer, this year’s calendar of events is very full. Here are a few highlights! We kick off the summer with …

Flip-flops and flower gardens

March has arrived and we spent time earlier this month removing the wintertime scenarios from the Great House.  If you came to see us for our Christmastide program or any time over the holiday season, you saw the main house set up for a holiday party and displaying scenes of everyday wintertime life.  Silhouette-cutting in the Dining Room Closet and fresh laundry …

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 …

A Late Summer “Gust”

Hurricane season has arrived in full force. Irene’s severe impact on Stratford, visible everywhere in the form of downed trees, blocked roads and damaged buildings, reminds me of Isabel’s arrival in September 2003.Hurricane Isabel had Stratford’s stalwart staff cleaning up the grounds during our two weeks without electricity (remember, no computers or lights) and the farm crew sawing up felled …

Country houses…in England and Wales

  Throughout the month of July, I had the good fortune to be able to travel in England and northern Wales as part of the Attingham Summer School, a study program run by The Attingham Trust.*  My classmates included architectural historians, curators, conservators, and preservationists from around the world (Russia, Australia, Switzerland, India, etc.).  For three weeks we traversed the …

Rediscovering the Historic House Update

The guided tour has always been a staple at historic sites such as Stratford Hall. While the guided tour is not going away, we are thinking about adding news ways to experience our site. In June 2010, Executive Director PaulReber blogged about this project, highlighting the need to rethink not only the story we tell…but also how we tell the …