A great brief for a curator – ‘Give us an exhibition about this building’s use as a hospital. We’d like a bed’. This was a very small, very low-budget exhibition to show the use of the Pump House building in the market town of Faringdon as an Auxiliary Hospital in World War One. Liaising with and borrowing from the Town Council, Buscot Park Estate, The Red Cross and Oxfordshire County Council Museums’ Service, I put together an exhibition aimed at local residents. It has been a great success and is intended to be a precursor and exploratory mechanism for a permanent museum in the town. The planning took four months.
What I did:
- Found, researched and displayed items from four lenders
- Researched and wrote all the text and supporting documents
- Worked with volunteers to transcribe a major document shown in the exhibition
- Designed and sourced the items for the nurse/patient tableau
- Worked with maintenance staff to dress the room and create the display mounts
- Designed the case layouts and mounts and installed the objects in the cases
What I achieved:
- An informative, highly visual look
- A surprise element – I included the types of medication used in the UK at the time
- An accessible tableau for those less interested in reading
- Information previously unknown to the town – forgotten in the past
- Backup information for those who’d like to know more than is in the panels
- Happy clients!