Friday, September 9, 2011

GHM Exhibits

Entering the exhibits of the museum gave me a new light and feeling for the space and what it needs to provide in the lobby space. This truly is an amazing space after one gets an entire feeling for the space.
When I first came in I entered the Jewish heritage of the south exhibit. I found this to be very interesting. I never knew so much Jewish connects were throughout the state. I also really enjoyed the fact many things were interactive, and you could touch and open, and try on. This was a very exciting museum experience. I have never been in a setting like that where one was allowed to have so much freedom in their learning experience in the museum. This is something the lobby lacks. This is a very interesting aspect to the space as a whole. Maybe a small example of how their museum works ahead. Something people could get a feel of the freedom liberties within the museum.
Moving beyond this space I visited the Civil War guns and knives room. I see the cultural connect to the history of the south here, but I found it to be my least favorite and rather boring. It felt much more cold and disciplined room on the trip. I did however like the paintings on the wall in this room. I felt they not only added a aesthetic to the room, but linked art and history conflicts together that is always an interesting aspect in learning about history I think.
Moving deeper into the weaving path of this museum I enter the historical exhibit of Greensboro. I found this space to be very exciting. It creates it’s own time capsule. Where I did find it campy and a little excessive at moments, it did feel very welcoming and created an image I don’t think harms the idea of Greensboro. It also was very hands on and made this feel more unique then most people would be to museum learning.
Down another spiral staircase we are met with what was once the old church. I find the preservation of the stained glass window to be very fitting with the history and tradition of the space, and I found this entrance oddly enough more inviting and unique then the one they presently use as their lobby space. This is also the start place to enter the Voices of Greensboro exhibit.
This is the largest and lengthiest of all the exhibits, as it should be since I think this part sums up the entire idea of this museum space as a whole. It creates a time line from Native American start to what Greensboro is like today; different generations of all races and finical statuses, from sports to entertainment, to Greensboro’s contributions to the globe. They had it all. Where it was a very interesting site to see, it lacked in the unique hands on approach that much of the other museum used. It made it feel very standard to all other museum spaces that I have been to in my life, and honestly made me not enjoy this main attraction of the space as much as I feel I possibly could have.
After winding and weaving through the maze of the Voices exhibit we are brought into the gift shop. I find the placement of this space rather odd. It feels like I should have already passed by it, or I haven’t quite reached it yet. The space was very relaxing when I comes to museum shopping, but I felt it lacked in personality to the space overall. It felt many of the items were nothing more then what one could find at their local Target or Pier 1 imports. There was a small collection of original pottery from the local Sea Grove pottery area, and that was very nice to see. It also tied in very well with the local pottery collection exhibit that lie just ahead of the shop.
One of the strangest things I found was the cemetery off of the gift shop. Since this use to be an old church there was a very historic graveyard outside. It was one of my favorite parts of the museum experience. It was a true chance to walk more amongst the long history of the city. It was also a very added experience of offering an outdoor learning opportunity. The part I found so odd, is how it came off of the gift shop, and how without real close examination of the door leading out, one would not think this was a part of the museum trip. I even had to ask if I was even allowed to go out there.
As I said before, through the shop we enter the last real exhibit of the trip, pottery and some more examples of historic living in Greensboro. This part was an interesting space. I enjoyed getting to see the old designs of the nice interior rooms. It made me to begin thinking an overall theme of this interior space would add a lot of character to the lobby space and add much more of a connection to the space overall. The real connection was the colors that are used and how much of the lobby already shows these, and the lighting pieces that were used. They were chandeliers that would add aesthetic appeal for the mezzanine unlike the lighting fixtures presently, which really add no experience looking over from that mezzanine now.
Finally we come to the small Dolly Madison exhibit before we come out on the mezzanine leading back down to the lobby. Leaving with much more ideas for the lobby space and how to connect it better with the rest of the space.
My overall main thoughts are that people need more of a hands on experience to showcase many of the exhibits that are ahead, and the lobby overall should reflect a design theme of some period, possibly very similar to the Cone interiors. This could create a more historic connection over all in that lobby space.

Seeing the museum overall did give me many more ideas on what could be done with the space, and I think of my trip as just another tool in adding inspiration to me ideas for designing the space.

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