The Cultures and History of the Americas
LocationJefferson Building, Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Exhibition DesignRiggs + Ward
A touch screen installed next to a display case lets visitors explore an inscribed Mayan artifact, and transcribe and study its hieroglyphics.
Deployed in close proximity to the small wooden box under glass, the touch screen installation gives visitors the ability to turn and view a 3-D model of the laser scanned artifact from any angle, remove the lid, and see high-resolution photographs of its surfaces. The seventh-century wooden box from the Mayan culture was probably used to house bloodletting implements and other sacrificial paraphernalia. Each side of the box is inscribed with ancient hieroglyphs that visitors can transcribe from side to side—or they can read the entire translation in narrative form. A gallery section of the kiosk features other pre-Columbian artifacts from the same collection.
Press & Awards“Two New Shows Cast Light and Darkness on Early Cultures in the Americas,” The New York Times, Edward Rothstein, March 5, 2008
There are also touch screens with narrations and images, along with displays of exceptional documents, including the only known copy of a famous 1507 map: the first to show the New World’s continents and the first on which the name America appears.“Exploring the Early Americas’: A Sense of Continent’s Direction,” Washington Post, Cathryn Keller, December 26, 2007
Turn to the adjacent interactive monitor to rotate a beautifully detailed image of the vase, which you can enlarge and move around with a touch of the finger...Eight mural-size paintings, called ‘The Conquest of Mexico,’ depict Hernán Cortés’s 1519–1522 mission of subjugation. Created by an unknown artist in the last quarter of the 17th century, the paintings glorify the Spanish empire. They include detailed sub-scenes set into the large drama, like sidebars telling the back story—just as the accompanying interactive displays illuminate the events and characters portrayed in the work.
© 2013 Second Story, Inc.
- JD Hooge
- Thomas Wester
- 3-D Visualization
- Matt Arnold
- Production Artists
- Martin Linde, Joseph Marks
- Quality Assurance
- Marti Johnson
- Exhibit Design
- Riggs Ward