Saturday, July 23, 2011

What to do with my new coat of arms?

Ever since my internship at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007, I always evaluate museums based on the interactivity of their exhibits. Sometimes this can be done in little ways, such as opening drawers to see additional items. But other exhibits are more elaborate. Two of my favorite museums here in London have some interesting ways of getting visitors involved. They may be aimed at kids, but I enjoy them nonetheless.

At the Victoria & Albert Museum, you can learn how to tie or cravat or try on a hoop skirt and petticoats following step-by-step instructions. Or you can use computers to design your own monogram or coat of arms.

The heraldic description of my chosen arms: Per pale azur and vert a chevron argent three roses gules. I chose the horses because of Kentucky. My motto, Nil Desperandum, means “Nothing to Despair.”

Another computer will allow you to design a fabric pattern for an 18th century dress. Even more awesome, you can email the pattern you create to yourself afterward. Here's mine:

The fabric I created at the V&A.

Over at the Churchill War Rooms, you can try "painting" one of Churchill's landscapes on the computer, or wear a replica of his hat and coat. The centerpiece of the museum is a huge interactive timeline that you can learn about in this short video:

Dr. Everhart: This is not the photo I want you to grade. It was my practice video. Please grade the one I post on Monday about the deck chairs in the Royal Parks.

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