Friday, May 10, 2013

Anatomy of a display 2 - Tudor Wakefield

Objects: Timber beams from various city centre buildings demolished in the 1960s

History: These buildings represent a golden age in Wakefield. When the selling and finishing of raw wool in the 1500s and early 1600s made Wakefield merchants very rich. The money they made was spent on fancy, decorated homes and shops. Timber from the out wood (Outwood), cut into beams to make a frame was the common architectural fashion of the Tudors. Most were demolished in the 1960s and the museum looks after some of the remains.
The Golden Cock Inn on Westgate, just before it was demolished

Display style: Even though they are very important the beams are not easy to display. They are very large and the carvings are often incomplete (a fascinating post featuring a knight is unfortunately missing his face). We worked with local historian Peter Brears to reveal how they looked when they were still parts of buildings. Peter spent his youth drawing many of the buildings in the late 1950s before they were pulled down. We combined his illustrations with our beams to create a 3D sketchbook style to explore the remains, what they used to look like and a flavour of what Wakefield was like 500 years ago.

This is what we did…..

The carved knight post
The knight post with a face as drawn by Peter Brears

One of the beams from the Golden Cock Inn cared for by Wakefield Museum
Peter Brears' drawing of the Golden Cock Inn
An early version of the display before the position of the museum walls were decided
Graphic design of how the pictures and beams might look together. We used a textured wallpaper graphic to make it look like the wall was a large notebook page.

Computer generated model of the display
The final display...come and see it!

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