The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, April 16, 2014


New Visitors Center for US Anthem's Birthplace
By: Sarah Brumfield, Associated Press
BALTIMORE (AP).- After decades of making do with a small, outdated visitor center, the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine is getting new space and an update for the 21st century, just in time for the bicentennial of the War of 1812.

The National Park Service's old center built in 1964 accommodated 250,000 visitors annually. It was soon overwhelmed and attendance grew to 650,000 in recent years, with about 30 percent of the groups that seek reservations being turned away, Superintendent Gay Vietzke said.

The new $15 million, 17,000-square-foot center is expected to welcome 750,000 people annually and will likely see an attendance bubble in the years surrounding the bicentennial. Thursday's opening of the center falls on the 80th anniversary of the "Star-Spangled Banner" becoming the national anthem. The anthem made the fort on Baltimore's harbor one of the best-known sites associated with the war.

"If you know something about the War of 1812, you know that Francis Scott Key wrote the 'Star-Spangled Banner' here," Vietzke said.

The building designed by Baltimore-based GWWO/Architects has two curved walls — one of brick, the other of zinc — to symbolize the flag's stripes. It is near to a water-taxi dock and can accommodate more buses than the old facility. Inside, a new exhibit area is more than three times larger the former space and includes three galleries where visitors can learn about the war, the Battle of Baltimore and the anthem.

Vietzke said the Park Service heard loud and clear from visitors that they cherished the powerful "reveal" moment at the end of the old film when the screen lifted to show the fort with the flag waving above. They decided to keep that feature with the new film.

"Even I felt the emotion in the old place," when the fort was revealed, said William Haley, who — like the company that designed the exhibit, Haley Sharp Design — is British.

The screen is incorporated into the exhibit space with a statue of Key in the middle which makes for a unique experience for viewers, said Joshua Colover, president of Aperture Films and director of the new film that tells the story of the Battle of Baltimore and the anthem's inception.

He wanted visitors to feel like they were amid the soldiers defending the fort and with Key at the moment of his inspiration.

"With the giant screen, you're not just watching the film, but you're experiencing it," he said. "For the younger generation, we wanted to make it a real visceral experience."

Visitors can review the anthem's four stanzas and use touchscreens to pick out phrases to learn more about what they meant in Key's time. At other touchscreen stations around the exhibit space, visitors can learn about Key's life or the debate leading up to the war.

For the next three months, they can view the original manuscript of the "Star-Spangled Banner" in Key's handwriting, complete with his corrections, on loan from the Maryland Historical Society.

A timeline focused on the relevance of the anthem over the last two centuries allows visitors to listen to different versions of the song, including Jimi Hendrix' famous interpretation on electric guitar. It aims to put the anthem in context.

"It's really important to know the basis of our national identity can be traced back to these symbols created here," Vietzke said.

___

Online:

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine: http://www.nps.gov/fomc


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.



Today's News

March 5, 2011

Armory Show Opens 13th Edition as Centerpiece to the Biggest Week of Art in New York

Pompeii Exhibit at New York City's Discovery Times Square Shines Light on Buried City

Thomas Moran's Masterpiece "Green River Cliffs, Wyoming" Acquired by National Gallery of Art

Egypt's Top Archaeologist, Zahi Hawass, Warns of Looting at Country's Antiquity Sites

Valencian Institute of Modern Art Shows the Sculptural Work of Edgar Degas

Sotheby's in London to Sell Hascoe Family Collection of Important Czech Art

Leading Artists at Christie's New York Sale of South Asian Modern + Contemporary Art

Victoria & Albert Museum in London Unveils Exhibition of Road Project Designs

Unpublished Churchill Speech on Hard Work and the Benefits of Science for Sale at Bonhams

Sotheby's Hong Kong To Hold 20th Century Chinese Art Spring Sale 2011 in April

Historians from Canadian Archivists' Association Want Communist Files Protected

New Exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Art Shows Rodarte Fashions as Sculptures

Acclaimed British Architect Norman Foster Design Picked for $2.8B Hong Kong Cultural Hub

Arctic Sanctuary: Images of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge at the Bruce Museum

Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Annouces Major Gifts

Christie's Hong Kong Completes First Day of Two-Day Wine Sale with HK$53m/US$6.8m

New Visitors Center for US Anthem's Birthplace

Phillips de Pury & Company's Design Auction, Vienna and the Wiener Werkstatte Totals $1,243,800

Bam! Pow! Indian Comics Clamor to Make their Mark

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- 'World's oldest message in a bottle', tossed in sea 101 years ago, reaches granddaughter

2.- East-West/West-East: Qatar unveils desert sculpture by American artist Richard Serra

3.- Ming-era 'chicken cup' sells for $36.05 million breaking record for Chinese porcelain

4.- United States pastor Kevin Sutherland convicted over Damien Hirst fake paintings

5.- Major exhibition at Pinacothèque de Paris explores the myth of Cleopatra

6.- Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles opens with inaugural exhibition "Van Gogh Live!"

7.- Landmark exhibition opens in New York exploring the ancient kingdoms of Southeast Asia

8.- Palm-sized scroll that mentions Jesus's wife is ancient: Harvard Theological Review

9.- Hitler's wife Eva Braun may have had Jewish ancestry: British television documentary

10.- Bonhams to sell Madame de Pompadour's favourite porcelain which surfaced in Devon after 350 years



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site