Setting the Stage
In order to recreate the speech that Robert Kennedy gave in Indianapolis, the IHS exhibits team not only brings to life the stories of that night through the interpreters, films, graphic panels and computer interactives, but they also must recreate the physical space in which the speech occurred. Jeff Mills, director of exhibitions design and production, began by developing schematics that combine all the elements required for this You Are There, including a literal recreation of the park itself.
First, Exhibits Fabricator Roger Fish set to work locating a truck that could be used to replicate the one Kennedy stood on that night. After an extensive search, he found an appropriate truck through a dealer in Bloomington. The hard part: The truck had to be cut in half.
IHS member Sarah Rector generously allowed us to use her pole barn to do the work. “It might sound like an easy thing, to saw a truck in half, but it is hardly that simple,” says Eloise Scroggins, director of exhibitions research. “The truck had to be dismantled piece-by-piece in order to prevent it from falling in on itself.”
Roger and Exhibits Graphics Coordinator Martin Douglas stripped the truck down to its bare frame, cut the center out of it, then reattached the pieces to a 50-percent dimension of the original truck. “It was a lot of fun,” says Roger.
“There are a lot of bells and whistles that will no doubt leave an impression for visitors,” says Eloise, “but we encourage a closer look at the details. Everything that goes into a You Are There is its own unique project, and sometimes we make it look easy when it was anything but!”