“You don’t sing to feel better.
You sing ’cause that’s a way of understanding life.”
August Wilson, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” 1981
The Office of Exhibits Central is working hard to complete five copies of a new exhibit for Museum on Main Street, a partnership project of the Smithsonian Institution, state humanities councils, and rural museums across America. New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music features photos, objects, and recordings of blues, country, folk, and gospel, with a little zydeco and tejano to spice things up.
OEC has worked on this show for the last two years — consulting with the curator and editing the text, designing the kiosk structures, graphic layout, and interactives, printing and installing graphics on a variety of media, building interactives and surface treatments, and making reproductions of traditional musical instruments are only some of the aspects of the exhibition that OEC staff have brought their expertise to.
New Harmonies debuts this coming spring in Idaho, Mississippi, Guam, Washington, and Illinois.
top photo: Five copies of the gospel kiosk installed to make sure that all components are correct before shipping.
bottom photo: Theresa Keefe, graphics specialist, adheres a print of Woody Guthrie to a panel.