EXHIBITS

Brockington’s HW Exhibits division helps us share archaeology and history with the general public. Our team of planners, developers, writers, and designers are dedicated to creating customized exhibits founded on accurate and engaging content, multisensory experiences, and eye-catching designs that meet the goals and vision of our clients. Our team can coordinate all aspects of your project from initial planning through research, development, design, and installation. We can create:

  • Custom exhibits
  • Outdoor exhibits
  • Interactive experiences
  • Books and websites
  • Education programs
  • Lectures and public programs
Visitors explore new exhibits at Mt. Pleasant’s Boone Hall Plantation
Visitors explore new exhibits at Mt. Pleasant’s Boone Hall Plantation

CASE STUDY EXHIBITS

BOONE HALL EXHIBITS

Brockington’s HW Exhibits team worked with Mt. Pleasant's Boone Hall Plantation to plan, design, write content for, and build exhibits for a new visitor center, located in the newly restored cotton barn built in the early 19th century. Exhibits explore the cultural development of the property, products produced there historically (cotton, bricks, and pecans), and the site’s present role as tourist attraction and working farm. The finished exhibits include interpretive panels, interactive reader rails, freestanding structures, and object displays, as well as audio stations and mechanical interactives. The exhibits’ custom-made metal support structures coordinate with the industrial feel of the space. Our inspiration for the color palette and font package was taken from existing branding and from the plantation’s beautiful landscape.

EXHIBIT PLANNING

Successful projects begin with sound planning. We listen to your goals and objectives. We focus on your big message. We translate ideas into concrete exhibit plans that set out topics, establish design goals and objectives, and present a custom suite of interpretive products selected to advance your story.

Alligator skeleton exhibit, part of our redesigned exhibits for Brazos Bend State Park in Texas
Alligator skeleton exhibit, part of our redesigned exhibits for Brazos Bend State Park in Texas

CASE STUDY EXHIBIT PLANNING

BRAZOS BEND STATE PARK

Brazos Bend State Park, located south of Houston, is one of Texas’ busiest state parks. One popular feature is the visitor center where folks learn about the natural and cultural history of the area and even get to touch baby alligators. Brockington’s HW Exhibits team worked with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) to give the visitor center a facelift. We developed an exhibit that reimagined the space with an open concept that allows visitors to flow in and around several live animal tanks, an alligator skeleton, and colorful graphics and interactives. Our design scheme was inspired by mid-century modern summer camp iconography. We incorporated exhibit content provided by TPWD to design a suite of interpretive panels that include custom illustrations and infographics, plus mechanical interactives.

CONTENT DEVELOPMENT

At the heart of great exhibits are engaging and compelling stories. To ensure visitors connect with your message, we use our team of interpretive writers, preservation specialists, and historians to develop stories that are well-researched, accurately presented, and engaging.

Our interpretive program connects the new Baxter-Patrick Library to the Evergreen Cemetery
Our interpretive program connects the new Baxter-Patrick Library to the Evergreen Cemetery

CASE STUDY CONTENT DEVELOPMENT

BAXTER-PATRICK LIBRARY

Charleston County recently built a new public library adjacent to the traditional African American community of Grimball Farms in the Town of James Island. Baxter-Patrick James Island Public Library sits next to Evergreen Cemetery, which has been associated with the Grimball community since the early 19th century and contains the graves of people who were enslaved on Grimball Plantation. Brockington’s HW Exhibits team planned, developed, designed, and installed a multi-component interpretive program for the new library that includes an indoor interpretive timeline, four large double-sided outdoor interpretive panels set along a landscaped path that connects the library to the cemetery, and two interpretive waysides in a small sitting area near the cemetery. In addition, we worked with a local artist to create a unique sculpture that also sits along the path between the library and the cemetery. Charleston County was awarded the 2020 Preservation Service Award for the project by Preservation South Carolina.

EXHIBIT DESIGN

We all explore the world differently. Great exhibits offer visitors a variety of ways to make personal connections to the exhibit message. We strive to develop multisensory experiences through accessible content, beautiful images, hands-on activities, and relevant design.

The Kentucky’s Women Veterans exhibit tells the stories of veterans from Kentucky who served in the 20th and 21st centuries
The Kentucky’s Women Veterans exhibit tells the stories of veterans from Kentucky who served in the 20th and 21st centuries

CASE STUDY EXHIBIT DESIGN

KY's WOMEN VETERANS

Brockington’s HW Exhibits team worked with the Kentucky Historical Society to create a new exhibit called "Our Stories Our Service, Kentucky’s Women Veterans". The exhibit focuses on veterans and their families who served during the 20th and 21st centuries and highlights how women from Kentucky’s many different geographic, economic, and cultural backgrounds have contributed to the evolution of the US Armed Forces through their participation, dedication, and determination. The exhibit includes 22 biography blades to introduce visitors to the veterans. We designed a unique system of temporary walls to create three distinct interpretive zones that explore why women joined, the rough road to acceptance, and the return to civilian life. Audio stations, simple hands-on interactives, video presentations, and a moving leave-a-message station allow guests to make deeper connections to the stories. An important collaborator for the project was Honor Flight Kentucky, an organization dedicated to honoring veterans with all-expenses paid trips to memorials in Washington, DC.

COMMUNITY COLLABORATION

Brockington is dedicated to serving the community of archaeologists, historians, and preservation professionals. Recently, we’ve opened our lab to field school students and members of the National Preservation Institute, and we’ve worked with university students to facilitate academic research through our artifact holdings. Our employees regularly present research at professional conferences and provide lectures and demonstrations to the public. We encourage active participation and service on the boards of a number of state and national professional organizations. Working closely with peers and community representatives allows us to help set standards while advocating for solutions, within the industry, with state, local, and federal agencies, and with Congress. We also serve the communities where we live and work. Our service includes volunteer opportunities at local historic sites as well as sponsorship and donations of a number of nonprofit organizations as selected by the members of each office.

Lab Director Jeff Sherard shows a large Westo produced complicated stamped jar rim while discussing the Indigenous population’s relationship and trading activities with the early English colonists for 2023’s International Archaeology Day at South Carolina State Park’s Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site.
Lab Director Jeff Sherard shows a large Westo produced complicated stamped jar rim while discussing the Indigenous population’s relationship and trading activities with the early English colonists for 2023’s International Archaeology Day at South Carolina State Park’s Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site.

CASE STUDY LECTURES AND DEMONSTRATIONS

CHARLES TOWNE LANDING

Brockington’s Lab Director, Jeff Sherard, has volunteered at South Carolina State Park’s Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site for more than six years. On the first Saturday of each month, you will find him often serving as the “worm” on a 12-pound Demi-Culverin cannon and performing flintlock musket drills for the park’s visitors. When not on the gun platforms, he also serves as a volunteer interpreter, presenting relevant artifacts and discussions about the indigenous responses to European arrival and colonization. Volunteering has taught him immense lessons about interactions and procedures with 17th century artillery and firearms, allowing him a unique perspective when analyzing arms-related artifacts. But more importantly, these conversations, coupled with a hands-on experience with artifacts, often yield personal moments for some of the park’s guests that remind him just how fortunate he is to be a part of the Charleston archaeological community.

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