The installation of a new exhibit is a large task. A previous blog has highlighted the work the museum has done to clean and prepare the weapons for exhibit. That is only one small part of the exhibition construction process.
Many weeks were spent constructing mounts for the objects. Because each object is different, it was impossible to take a one mount fits all approach; each object required the construction of a custom mount for that particular piece.
In the case of muskets, wide strips of acrylic were heated and formed to fit the contours of the butt plate providing a sturdy base for mounting guns in an upright position. To hold the gun in place thin brass rod was formed to wrap around the rammers and fixed to the back of the case. Swords and pistols generally rely upon hooks to hold them in place and at specific angles. In all cases, care was taken to ensure that any materials coming into direct contact with an object would not react negatively with the object’s surface.
Once the mounts were constructed, the objects were transported to the museum and installed into the exhibit cases. Sometimes the installation of objects went as planned, sometimes it was necessary to make adjustments to the mounts to improve the final fit and appearance of the objects. Because of the nature of some objects and cases in which the pieces were intended to be exhibited, it was necessary to construct the mounts on-site.
This exhibit includes over 150 objects and took about three weeks to install and a lot of imagination to construct mounts that were both strong and discreet. The effect, however, is that most objects appear to be suspended in air with minimal intrusive supports and it is possible to view most of the object in the exhibit from multiple perspectives.