Thursday, September 8, 2011

ghs: exhibit visits

[Down Home]
When I went back to the museum to examine the exhibits, I was not sure what exactly to expect. The only exhibit I was familiar with was the traveling exhibit that is located in the lobby to the left of the main entrance. The small, open display is bordered with large panels; I immediately went around to view the quotes and information that they held. The first one explained that what was in front of me was pertaining specifically to the Jewish life here in Greensboro, North Carolina. I could hear the out of date monitor ever sense I walked through the front door, however, now it became my point of interest. I loved the visual connection with the people and being able to hear there voices helped me make an even stronger connection with the people. The video had individuals telling their history in Greensboro, family history, and etc. As I listened to the video, I was also looking at the objects around me and began to feel a sense of pride from the Jewish community in Greensboro. I saw and heard words that were being repeated through the small space- family comes first, holding onto tradition, keeping the faith, love of learning, united. There was a timeline that was spread across the back wall of the exhibit and I noticed it was the darkest colored object in the space, stepping backward made me see the same grey shade at the bottom of the banners. The use of fading grays made my eyes travel up and down the exhibit which I thought was very beneficial because it made me look at the entire exhibit from top to bottom, while my eyes naturally traveled from left to right, absorbing as much information as possible.

[Historic Room Interiors & The Art of Turning Clay]
I then traveled up the spiral staircase to the second floor and made my way into the period rooms and pottery display. I was a bit confused when I saw the semi brightly lit pottery in the center of the area, with a very modern blue banner, stamped with orange and white lettering. I completely missed the furniture displays that surrounded the pottery, and I walked to the center of the room where I briefly looked at the large amount of pottery. If it had not been for the odd placement of the television in the center of the room column, I would have never noticed the darkly lit furniture displays that were tucked behind the walls of the pottery. I slowly made my way to them, thinking they might have been storage for the museum, or just old exhibits that were in the process of being switched out. Startled by other museum visitors who were examining the room displays, I quickly realized there were multiple displays of historic room interiors. Again examining them briefly I found myself in the center with the pottery and made my way to the opposite door to exit that exhibit. There was nothing in the room that made me want to linger there and learn about The Art of Turning Clay or historic rooms. This was a feeling I would quickly realize would follow me through the remainder of most of the museum. 

[Voices of a City]
 Bird noises? I cannot remember the last time I slowly approached so many doorways in one area. Ominous lighting must have been the museums major theme through out the entire exhibit. I was so thrown off by the bird noises that I went back tot the exhibits entrance to make sure I was in the right place. Pushing my self past the dark, slender hallway that was covered in quotes it opened into a… timeline of pictures. Florescent lighting. I never stayed around long enough to look at all the pictures or figure out why some were illuminated by a florescent glow. This exhibit did become my favorite exhibit out of all of them, once I wove myself out of the beginning labyrinth and the ceiling opened up. I took more time through the rest of the exhibit. There were interactive displays, artifacts in display cases, pictures of relevant people, and more. I really enjoyed the replica display of the diner sit-it that took place during the time of segregation. There was an enlarged photo of the four students who started the initial sit-in and the song A Change Is Gonna Come, by Sam Cooke played from above. I thought the displays were very well done and visually appealing to look at; some of the lighting was a bit to dim in areas, almost daunting. At the end of the exhibit, I was lead straight into the gift shop. I did not have much interest in the merchandise, and I thought there might be a more ideal way to make people want to purchase a memorabilia rather then being force to exit through the gift shop.

[The Gate City]
This was the last exhibit I visited at the museum; I had gone to the main spiraling staircase that had begun in the lobby. I walked into this room display and was completely confused to what exactly I was viewing/what it all was. After a minute or so, I realized that the main lobby stairs had led me into the middle of the exhibit; once I got to the fake tree in the middle of the “movie set” I became aware that it was displays of what the town would be like in those times. In a circular arrangement around the big fake tree there was “Miss Lina Porters Schoolhouse,” “Hotel Clegg” (where I had originally came from), “Crystal Theatre,” and “Richardson & Fariss Druggists.” Again, it was all very dim and had lots of dark areas; the painted people that were around the exhibit very not smiling, none of them, everyone had very serious faces on and it was very unbecoming. The motion censor audiotapes were the worst part of it all; I was the only person in the exhibit and I was startled many times. It made be very uncomfortable and I quickly left back through the Hotel Clegg.
I think the museum is overall awkward; I was not egger to view much of the exhibits and I did not want to slow down at many displays. When I walked out of the museum, I did not feel happy about what I just saw. It may have been because I was observing it by myself and there were not many other visitors at that time, but I feel like that should not be a factor to the bizarre feelings from the exhibits.