Heritage interpretation notes from Stockholm Days One and Two

I know it’s easy to mix my work up with what other people
do on holiday. Sometimes it’s even easy to mix my work up with what I do on holiday. But there is a difference – when I am working I make notes on the things I want to remember. I am aiming for five things a day.

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Day One did not begin until mid afternoon because it
was all about that vital arrival stuff that is essential for
visitors before interpretation can happen (see yesterday’s post).

So from days One and Two here are eight memos.

1. An overview of the site is a great start to the interpretive part of the visit.  In this case, we took a boat trip. A view would have done as well. At this stage visitors want an introduction to key concepts and ideas (interpreters know these as themes). We for instance learned that Stockholm has 14 islands, a very large number of bridges, is loved by its inhabitants, was built to protect Sigtuna and was very powerful during the 16th and 17th centuries.

2. Style does matter – in orientation as well as interpretation. We admired  and discussed the artwork of an orientation panel at some length. (Now, that is work, I did not observe any other visitors doing that nerdy thing.)

The artwork that got us thinking about treating orientation as an aesthetic as well as infomative process.

The artwork that got us thinking about treating orientation as an aesthetic as well as infomative process.

3. In a multi-lingual situation visuals that tell the story are
important. We saw several good examples of people thinking hard about how much they could say without words.

4. In a multi-lingual situation English is a universal language – but International English is not UK Engliish or US English or even Aussie English. International English makes for good museum text.

5. I seem to remember Madame Ekarv was a Swede. There were some nice examples of her approach to text writing in the Vasa museum.

The line breaks in Ekarved text fit the rhythm and phrasing which makes the text easier to read.

The line breaks in Ekarved text fit the rhythm and phrasing which makes the text easier to read.

6. The Vasa Museum demonstrated the formidable power and impact of authentic objects.

7. Artists and advertisers know their communication stuff. Fusing their approaches as demonstrated at the Spritmuseet which showcases the Absolut collection of contemporary art is fantastic. Also a great exhibition here about design and product development.

8. The Fotograpiska museet is a great place to hang out – open till 2300, live music, good food and drink. Way to go, social museum movement. In addition the Helman Newton photography exhibition was breathtaking.

Not bad for a day and a half, on now to Day Three.

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About susancrosstelltale

Great visits to heritage and natural sites do not happen by accident. This blog is about the work that make special sites great places to visit. I hope it will be useful to visitors and host alike. Find out more at me and my blog.
This entry was posted in Attractions, enjoying heritage, Good places to visit, Historical interpretation, Interpretation, Museums, Tips and advice, Tourism. Bookmark the permalink.

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