Special Exhibit at the Holocaust Museum

Without a doubt it is difficult to interpret difficult subjects like the Holocaust during the 1940s. Today we were given a brief tour of the special exhibit “Some where neighbors exhibit”  at the Holocaust museum. Sonya, our tour guide, discussed how the exhibit was put together based on a geographic theme rather than chronological and how the museum used different photograph “reveal” techniques to communicate a certain certain messages through pictures. These and other techniques were an interesting look at how the museum approaches its special exhibits. I thought the objects and the interpretation were interesting and provoking. At several sections, I thought exhibit design could have made the intended content more clear. For example several important photographs used on tour were posted far about eye level on walls. Also, I felt that the exhibit lacked flow, and I could see myself as a visitor not necessary understanding the best order to view the exhibit.

Discussing the exhibit with classmates and other employees of the Holocaust Museum presented opinions on interesting topics such as how to involve empathy, roleplaying and relevance. In the Holocaust Museum, as in other museums that we have visited, museum staff must walk a fine line of interpreting topics to make issues relevant without being disrespectful or hostile. I think that by approaching special exhibit topics with an eye to nuance, makes an exhibit more relevant to visitors. Everyone has experiences making good and bad choices, and thus will innately begin to relate to the individuals identified in the exhibit. Overall, the power of the subject was conveyed, and I look forward to seeing how the next special exhibit designed through crowd sourcing comes together.


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