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iLabs: Titanic Exhibit Opens Today!!!

September 29, 2012

Are you ready to be amazed, to enter the world of 1912 society, whether as a First-, Second- or Third-class traveler, on the greatest steamship ever built?  If you would like to get a sense of what it was like to travel in any of these classes and view some of the items you would have encountered, items that have been resting on the sea floor for almost 100 years, come to the Museum’s new Special Exhibit:

 

Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition Coming September 29, 2012

 

Also, did you ever wonder what it takes to set up one of these traveling exhibits?  If you’d like to know what setting up this exhibit was like, check out yesterday’s Exhibits and Emerging Media blog entry by Museum Exhibit Staff member, Jenny Profet: Launching the Titanic. It’s a great write-up on just what it takes for the Museum’s staff to get one of these great shows up and running.

I went to the pre-opening showing last night – what a powerful experience. For sure seeing actual items from the ship was a great experience. And the setting in a beautifully designed exhibit that captures the feel of the various class levels of the ship, as well as the “feeling of the bridge” that terrible night, was done so well.  And there was the one instance, where you could even touch a piece of the ship’s hull, which was enough to send chills down your spine.

But for me the most powerful thing, though, was the personal experience. As you enter the exhibit, you are given a boarding pass. It contains the name of an actual passenger, a short history of why you are there, and what class level you are traveling.  As you exit, there is the “Wall of Names” – where you can search amongst your class level and see if you fall into the rescued or lost group.

While I survived, the other three people I went through the exhibit with, all family members, perished.  My heart hurt, looking at them and realizing that 100 years ago, this was a reality for other human beings, people who loved their family  members just as much. For my husband it was a powerful thing to consider his “passenger” identity had children and he would never see them again.   For myself, I actually felt a sense of “survivor guilt” – why did I get rescued?   It really brought home the reality of the exhibit in very personal, concrete terms.

So I strongly encourage all to stop in and tour the exhibit. It’s very well done and meaningful.

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