Hearing Voices in Open House: If These Walls Could Talk.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Benjamin P. Filene, Associate Professor and Director of Public History (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Open House: If These Walls Could Talk tells probably the smallest story ever told at the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS). It focuses on a single, ordinary house on St. Paul's gritty East Side and the people who made that house home—from the German immigrants who built it in 1888 through the Italians, African Americans, and now Hmong who have followed: one house, fifty families, 118 years. Its scope is small, but the exhibit, which opened in 2006 at the Minnesota History Center, from the start embraced big possibilities—to define a new approach to storytelling in a gallery; to extend the boundaries of "exhibit" beyond the building's walls; to design a gallery that feels like a real place, one completely open to visitor discovery; and to inspire visitors to take on the mantle of historian. In the end, though, the most elaborate exhibit project ever undertaken at MHS demonstrates the power of a simple message: sometimes the smallest voices speak most forcefully of all.

Additional Information

History News 63 (spring 2008): 19-23
Language: English
Date: 2008
Housing, Families

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