History Museum at The Castle - Wisconsin, USA (2012 - 2013)
An old Masonic Temple houses the modern-day History Museum in Appleton, Wisconsin, where the past comes alive through the stories, photographs, and artifacts of the people of the Fox River Valley. The museum's mission is to inspire and create appreciation for the rich history of local communities through its collections, exhibits and education. The museum also offers traveling exhibitions, such as the Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion exhibit, presenting local citizens with a glimpse into the great minds of famous people and their time and place in history.
The town's biggest claim to fame is as the supposed birthplace of master magician Harry Houdini. However, truth be told, he was born in Budapest, Hungary and moved to Appleton when he was four years old. On his road to fame, Houdini wanted people to think he was born in America, so he would indicate that Appleton was his birthplace, even though official records tell a different story. The museum gathers, interprets, and disseminates information related to his life and hands-on exhibits allow visitors to experience some of Houdini's tricks - even learning a few of his secrets!
Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion
The Leonardo da Vinci: Machines in Motion, displayed 40 operational working replicas of da Vinci’s amazing machines. The exhibit was built in Florence, Italy by modern-day scientists and artisans according to da Vinci’s famous codices or manuscripts. Da Vinci's ideas came from the power of nature and included the elements of earth, water, wind and fire to power his machines. The exhibition provides a hands-on and engaging combination of education and entertainment into an experience that explores history, science, mechanics, physics, invention and innovation.
As a Docent for the exhibit, I provided hands-on demonstrations for visitors and assisted them in handling the machines. I also offered a deeper understanding of the genius behind da Vinci's creations and answered myriad questions posed by visitors about the machines, da Vinci's life, and about the museum in general.