Where exhibit ideas and
dioramas are dynamic!
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How do we reach the visitors?
Consider the Minié Ball
Minié ball
You see this and think of all the stories it implies, all the details, all the drama and significence.

The visitors don’t see any of that.

They just see a bullet.
What if we add a .45 caliber bullet?
Minié ball next to .45
Now, as a reproduction next to a large modern bullet, visitors see how huge it is.
.58 Minié
1.14 oz.
Modern .45
.53 oz.
Now they are starting to think.
What if we showed what each bullet does to ballistic gel?
Ballistic gel wound tracks, .58 Minié and .45 fmj
But will they really connect the dots?
What if we put a human face on it?
(Please click on image for the rest to make sense.)
Now we connect the bullet to the visitor, as he can see just how such a bullet affects the human body.

It’s graphic, but not enough to give people nightmares.
So, which presentation has the greatest impact?
And now, for something completely different …
Making a soldier interesting to non-war buffs.
Marching 5th NY Zouave
What happens if we pose the soldier in the midst of a dramatic moment?
Dramatic 5th NY Durye&‌eacute; Zouave
Here is the typical presentation of a soldier. It is realistic, authentic, accurate, …

Yet it has no story.

Visitors just see a guy in strange clothes.
Too often, they think, “So what?”
The bullet struck the barrel, bending it and the ramrod as it knocked the gun out of his hands, sending him sprawling.

If that weren’t enough, another ball shattered the stock.
5th New York Duryeé Zouaves, Second Battle of Bull Run
Now, that’s better!

They start to wonder what happened next, if he was hurt.

They may even wonder why he’s wearing red, billowing pants!

The point is, the visitor has to see the story. He can’t fill in the blanks the way you can.
We have to do it for him.

Otherwise, he walks away, learning — nothing.
Let’s keep him from walking away!

Let’s compel him to stop and wonder, the way you did when you started.

Show him why your subject is so cool, so he too, can feel your passion.
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