Object Lessons

Our lives are filled with objects. The clothing we wear. The cars we travel in. The tools we use. Even the food that we eat. How often do we stop to think about the things around us? How often do we stop to think about the same types of things people used in the past?

Each object is a collection of stories. People designed every curve, every bend, every color. Each element of an object from the most utilitarian to the most decorative represents the choices, culture, education, and environment of many individuals. As we use, adapt, and modify an object we add additional layers of meaning to it.

This exhibit brings together objects from Fort Ticonderoga’s outstanding collections to tell these stories. Each object here has four separate labels that tell four different (but often interconnected) stories about these objects. Consider how to look at things differently, and perhaps you will find new ways to think about other objects on display in our museum and in your own lives.

The four categories are:

  • Manufacture – How are things made? This is the story of their construction.
  • Function – Every object was designed to do something, to fulfill a need. What did each of these objects do?
  • Art – These are the elements that go beyond function. Even the simplest objects show the creativity of people to alter their world.
  • Culture – Every object has the stories of the culture that created it and the people that used it. The lives of many objects changed depending on who was using it.

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This online exhibit was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, grant # MG-60-19-0038-19.