Friday, November 30, 2012

November 26-30, 2012

This week, Demone and I started working our our exhibit panels. We met Monday to make the final selection of our photos and then began constructing our panels on Tuesday. We made the panels in Microsoft PowerPoint. Our backgrounds are grey blue and the font is black. We decided on Bookman Old Style size 29 for our font. We interspersed photographs with the text on the panels as well as creating a couple panels that were only photographs.

On Thursday, we completed our panels and began work sketching out the exhibit space. We met again on Friday to finish our sketches. We drew out each wall of our space and then drew in which panels, objects and curios would go where. This has been the most challenging part of the project so far. I have measured the walls and curios and will need to redraw some of my sketches this weekend to make sure that all the panels, curios and objects will fit in the wall space that we have. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

November 13th and 15th, 2012

The week of November 5th-9th, the Museum staff was out of town for the SEMC Annual Meeting in Williamsburg, VA, so Demone and I worked independently on wrapping up the edits on our labels. We also finalized our font and color scheme. We decided to use Bookman Old Style as the font for our exhibit labels and narrowed down color schemes to either black font on a pale peach background or black font on a light grey-blue background. 

On Tuesday, Demone and I went up to the Museum to examine the different types of labels and layouts used in current displays. We explored each exhibit and took notes on the font sizes, the style of the label's backgrounds and the size of the labels. We then decided what size we would like our labels to be and what color we would like the background to be. We decided to stick with our initial decision to have a solid color background for the text, and after discussing color choices with Ms. Bryner, decided that black text on the blue-grey background would be easier to read. 
After we had finished deciding the size and color of our labels, we finished scanning in photos of which we only had hard copies. 

On Thursday, Demone and I went back up to the Museum, this time to sketch the layout of the area where we will be installing our exhibit. Demone sketched the layout of the wall space while I drew a bird's eye view of the room. We decided where we would like to place the curios and how many label panels we would need to have printed. 

After mapping out the space, we had a better idea of how much room we would have to display objects and so we worked on finalizing our objects list. We tried to make sure that our final list of objects represented a variety of cultures and time periods, but would also fit in the space that we had. 
During the second half of our time on Thursday, Demone and I met with Dr. Whittington and Ms. Bryner to discuss designing our labels and the process of having them printed. Dr. Whittington showed us how to use PowerPoint to create an exhibit label.
Over the Thanksgiving break, Demone and I will do one last round of editing on our exhibit labels and narrow down our photo choices so that when we start back on the 26th, we can begin the process of building the exhibit panels.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

October 31st and November 1st

This week, Demone and I worked on scanning photographs to the computer and finalizing our timeline date labels.

On Wednesday, while Ms. Bryner and Ms. Cromwell finished editing the rough draft labels that we had submitted, Demone and I began sorting through and scanning in the photographs we had chosen. Several of the early photographs were only available in hard copy form, so we used a portable scanner to create digital copies of them. 

On Thursday, we used Ms. Bryner and Ms. Cromwell's revisions to edit and refine the labels for the dates on our timeline. We also used Beverly Serrell's advice offered in  Exhibit Labels: An Interpretive Approach to pick possible fonts and color schemes.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 23 and 25, 2012

This Tuesday and Thursday, Demone and I created a rough draft version of labels for our timeline. This week, we focused on writing labels for each of the timeline's dates and we plan to begin work on labels for objects and pictures in two weeks. 

To create the labels, we reviewed tips from Beverly Serrell's Exhibit Labels: an Interpretive Approach. Following Serrell's suggestions, we planned to limit the length to around 150 words and we set our target reading level at around 6-8th grade. 

We began by splitting the dates evenly between us. To create the labels, we would copy the text from a given date into Microsoft word and analyze its reading ease. We would then slowly begin editing down the text so that the end content was both shorter and had the appropriate reading level.

We then submitted our labels to Ms. Bryner and Ms. Cromwell for revision. With their comments and suggestions, we further edited our text. Next week, we will review the labels we have created and revise them to final draft form.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 16th and 18th, 2012

This week, our main goal was to narrow down our timeline, objects list and photographs list so that we could start finalizing the content of our exhibit.

Establishing our main idea and writing our introductory panel last week allowed Demone and me to form a specific idea of what we wanted our exhibit to show. We now have a better grasp of which events should be displayed and which events, though important, would be better not to include in this exhibit.

We printed out a copy of our objects list and a copy of our timeline and began cutting out each objects' information to tape next to the event with which we would display it. As we pasted in our artifacts, we edited out both events and objects. By the end of Tuesday, we had a semi-final draft of our timeline and artifacts list.

On Thursday, we continued our work narrowing down and finalizing, this time with our photographs. We pulled the photos we had chosen at the beginning of the semester back out to re-examine. By the end of the day, we had a specific list of photographs and will begin scanning them in next Thursday.

October 11, 2012

Today, Demone and I analyzed our introductory panel. We worked with corrections/suggestions sent to us by Ms. Bryner and Ms. Cromwell to produce a draft of the panel that said exactly what we wanted. 

We then pasted our paragraph into Microsoft Word to use its review tool that analyzes the reading level of a text. MS Word rated our panel's text as college-level. Our target reading level was between sixth and eighth grade, so we slowly changed the label, word by word, until it registered at our target level. 

Once we had adjusted our paragraph this meet this level, we read our old and new drafts side-by-side to make sure that the new version communicated the same message. We decided that it did and set-it aside for a final review later in the semester.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Week Four and Five Readings

The readings for these two weeks were:
-"Temporary Exhibits" and "Visitors and Interpretation" from Introduction to Museum Work by Hugh Genoways 
 -"Always True to the Object, in Our Fashion" by Susan Vogel
-and selected readings from Exhibit Labels: an Interpretive Approach by Beverly Serrell

The two chapters from Hugh Genoways' book addressed the need for a museum to know its visitors. Last week, Demone and I analyzed data from the Museum of Anthropology to get a more precise idea of entrance numbers, age groups and reasons for visiting. This data, as Genoways discusses, is vital to designing a successful exhibit. It is how we decide at what reading level to create our panels, at what height to hang them and what kinds of hands-on activities to include. We need to find a balance between age groups as well as between people who visit for recreation and more serious learners. 

Considering all these factors, Demone and I decided to aim for a 6-8th grade reading level to appeal to children, Wake Forest students, faculty and staff, and members of the community. 

Susan Vogel reminds us that demography is not the only key factor in designing an exhibit. She says on page 193, "We can be insiders only in our own culture and our own time." Her article highlights the importance of consulting members of an exhibit's target culture to gain insights that curators and exhibit designers may not be aware of while also ensuring that the members of that culture feel the exhibit accurately reflects them.

Our final set of readings dealt in depth with the process of creating exhibit labels. As I mentioned in Tuesday's blog, Demone and I have been using relying on this book extensively as we have been designing our introductory panel. This book will be a valuable resource as we begin writing labels and designing the exhibit.