Exhibit honors holocaust hero

Client: National Park ServiceExhibit builder: Exhibits InternationalCategory F: Best use of photographyWinner of the Kodak Canada 1994 Exhibit Excellence AwardDescription:This exhibit is contained in a 5,280-square-foot gallery in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and is entitled, 'Assignment Rescue: The Story of...

Client: National Park Service

Exhibit builder: Exhibits

International

Category F: Best use of

photography

Winner of the Kodak Canada 1994 Exhibit Excellence Award

Description:

This exhibit is contained in a 5,280-square-foot gallery in the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and is entitled, ‘Assignment Rescue: The Story of Varian Fry and the Emergency Rescue Committee.’

Fry, an American citizen, saved thousands of individuals who were threatened with immediate arrest and extradition to Nazi Germany from France.

The exhibit included about three dozen cases for documents, clothing and artifacts.

Client Objectives:

The client wanted the exhibit to be a walk-through of chronological events identifying milestones.

The events took place in the u.s. and France during the Second World War, and also included travel from country to country and city to city.

Sets included Fry’s apartment, The Commodore Hotel, a cafe in Marseilles, France, internment camps, and a journey across the Pyrenees Mountains.

The exhibit was intended to be temporary (18-month lifespan), therefore, the walls and internal structure had to be erected without damaging the hardwood floor or ceilings of the gallery.

The client wanted the story told with the use of actual letters written by Fry, which were reproduced for this exhibit, plus original documents and artifacts.

The preservation of all original documents and artifacts were of a major concern to the client.

Objectives achieved:

The gallery space was segmented into different areas to control traffic flow and lead visitors to the next area.

The walls were made of two-by-four construction rather than metal stud to add weight to the wall, thereby allowing the use of nails rather than screws and fewer fastening points into the hardwood floor.

Period wallpaper, moldings and furnishings were sourced to add realism to the various sets.

The use of jagged and irregular walls with various faux finishes portrayed aspects of environmental structures such as the Pyrenees Mountains.

Great care was taken to ensure that the reproduction of Fry’s letters were authentic.

The irregularity of the typed copy that is typically characteristic of typewriters of that era was duplicated including letters that are slightly raised above the others.

All of the original documents and artifacts were displayed in showcases with ultraviolet-filtered plexi, and urea formaldehyde-free cases.