A moving experience

By Matthew MacArthur

In our last post, we chronicled this week’s move of the Star-Spangled Banner into its new state-of-the-art exhibition gallery. While this event signified an important milestone for the museum’s reopening effort, I admit I was a little skeptical about how exciting the rolling of a crate could be.

As it turned out, I was wrong.  First of all, this was a REALLY big crate—30 feet long, as my colleague Dana mentioned. They even had to do a little demolition to get it around all the corners. One couldn’t help being impressed as it glided into the carefully-prepared portal in the wall of the exhibition chamber, soon to be sealed against the bright lights and airborne contaminants that pose a threat to the long-term preservation of this important artifact.

But what made the moment truly special was seeing the beehive of construction activity come to a halt as workers gathered around and lined up on the third-floor balcony to get a view. Anyone with a camera phone had it out to snap photos. As the last piece of the crate disappeared from view into the darkened chamber, staff and construction crew alike erupted into spontaneous applause.

And then, for all of us, it was back to work—but perhaps with a renewed sense of purpose.

Matthew MacArthur is the museum’s Director of New Media.