Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Exhibit Design and Installation Questions

Valued Colleagues:

I am currently engaged in a project to develop an exhibit on William H., “Alfalfa Bill” Murray to be erected in a soon-to-be-renovated building on the OSU campus that bears his name. The exhibit will also examine the history of the building itself. As you may know, Murray is one of the most influential--and controversial--figures in Oklahoma history. He was a leader in the 1905 Sequoyah Convention that sought to create a separate state from Indian Territory, presided over the constitutional convention that led to statehood, was the First Speaker of the House in the State Legislature, served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, and was Governor during some of the darkest days of the Great Depression. He also was an ardent racist and ant-Semite.

The challenges in interpreting Murray, I like to think I can handle. With the help of a graduate assistant, I will develop a script for the exhibit, locate images and artifacts, and quite possibly compose label text. The exact design and installation of the exhibit is where help will be needed. So, I would welcome any comments, advice, and even recommendations you may have on consultants or firms who might be employed to do this. The exact location of the exhibit has yet to be determined, but in order for it to serve its educational purpose it should, in my opinion, be accessible to ordinary visitors to the building, and students especially. In other words, it will be in a rather open and unsecured environment. That being the case, I suspect it will comprise mostly wall of panels with images and text, although the display of artifacts and perhaps an interactive kiosk is not out of the question. Frankly, I am open to any and all suggestions.

A realize this all sounds very vague, but I would welcome any general ideas, input, or suggestions you may. I can assure you they will be appreciated and no doubt of great value as the project proceeds. I may be contacted via e-mail at and by phone at 405-744-8179. I will also be at the OMA conference next week, so feel free to corner me there as well. Many thanks.

Bill Bryans
History Department
Oklahoma State University