Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center, Photo: Colleen Curry

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Installation of Fort Yellowstone Case

Today, John and I installed the last of the exhibit cases. Our fellow intern Jake had done all the work for the case, but his last day was last Thursday and he did not have time to install it. We used the photos Jake took of his mock up as our guide throughout the installation so the exhibit would be as true to his vision as possible.

After looking at Jake's mock up, we realized that we did not have all the labels we needed. Although we distinctly remember mounting them last Thursday, they were nowhere to be found. After a long search, we finally decided to reprint and remount them.

Like me, Jake had made his own mannequin for his case. His displayed an army uniform from Fort Yellowstone before NPS was created. Although his mannequin looked amazing, we ended up putting the uniform on one of the new mannequins that Colleen had ordered that came in yesterday. The new mannequins have very sturdy bases, whereas Jake's had a pole through the leg that would fit into a base that he made out of block ethafoam hidden under one of our wooden platforms. Jake's mannequin and base were probably more than adequate, but we decided we might as well use one of the new mannequins just to be sure.

Getting the uniform onto the mannequin proved to be quite challenging. The pants and jacket to the uniform belonged to different people and were very different sizes. The pants were too small to fit on the male manneqin, but fit perfectly on our female mannequin (we were thinking about padding the stomach of the female mannequin to make the coat fit). The jacket was way too big for the female mannequin but fit perfectly on the male mannequin. Our solution was to use the male mannequin but not to button up the pants. We found that they stayed up on their own without being buttoned and that this did not put any stress on the pants. After finishing the mannequin, we started installing the case.

We put the mannequin into the case first. Then we worked to arrange the labels and photographs the way Jake wanted them. We did have to reimagine the exhibit a little bit, because some photos were mounted larger than they were in the mock up.

Jake's case after installation

After finishing Jake's case, we finished up the platform in the corner between my two cases. John put two small metal hook and eye's into the wall behind each ski. Then we attached the skis to the hook and eye with fishing line. This will make it more difficult to steal the skis and will also ensure that they stay standing up and do not fall over.

Stove and skis with photos behind

My two cases and the platform with skis and stove

After attaching the skis to the wall, I put up my last photos and labels on the walls in that corner area. Now, the exhibit is completely installed and it looks great!

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