History Museum's Lewis & Clark Exhibition
Note: This tip was written by Jill and Dee (Mostly Jill)
The new Lewis & Clark Exhibition at the Missouri Historical Museum costs $12.00 and is worth it. This exhibition celebrates 200 years since the Lewis & Clark expedition.
Outside the exhibit, the experience began as a staff member used a fur-covered box to demonstrate the Indians' skill at using materials in their environment, showing the use of buffalo sinew, porcupine guill, a feather, etc. After purchasing tickets, we viewed a video with background information to prepare us for the exhibit itself.
Jill's impressions on the Special Exhibition of Lewis & Clark:
Today's style of interactive material is very evident. Extremely thorough signs at the exhibit are supplemented by material given through earphones like those at the Art Museum which are computer regulated and easily used. Visitors had a choice in the order that they moved through the exhibit; thus, the crowd moved quite smoothly, not crowding at one spot. I was impressed by the quality of the background information given by the curator and other experts. The Historical Society's exhibit had several interactive choices that were fun and challenging such as matching plants with descriptions and scents; playing a game to see how Clark communicated with Indians through many interpreters.
When the visitor successfully matched the order of interpretation, he/she could listen to a message being transmitted in 4 languages (English, French, Shoshone, and Hidatsu). Another game let visitors match fur or paw prints with animals.
The exhibit featured good signs that were visible in the low light. The signs told the owner of each artifact and also indicated which were reproductions. As a worker in a little museum, I was astonished at the artifacts gathered from many sources, including private collectors; though, many came from the Smithsonian and Harvard's Peabody Museum.
I especially liked the thoroughness of attribution. For example, a beautiful tanned hide dress was thought to be Sacajawea's but not authenticated. It would have been tempting to just say that it was hers.
The exhibit was thorough, but very visitor-friendly and understandable by children. I loved it all and have never seen a better presentation, and I am a museum-goer.