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The Best Bedchamber at the Hammond-Harwood House
The Best Bedchamber at the Hammond-Harwood House

It is usually impossible to take this particular picture of the Best Bedchamber at the Hammond-Harwood House. Like most historical house museums, we use stanchions and ropes to keep our visitors at a distance from the objects in the rooms. By doing this, we hope to avoid any damage to the furniture or, even worse, theft of the smaller items. But the stanchions do affect the physical experience of the room; I hadn’t realized how much they close off the space until this week, when I removed them because Maryland Public Television was here filming for an episode of Chesapeake Collectibles. I have been struck by how different the room feels without them. It is more spacious, and I can get a much better sense of how people could actually have lived in the room.

So, now I have a dilemma: how do I give visitors to the House the same experience I’m having without the stanchions, while still adequately protecting our collection? I’ll be pondering it this winter, and am open to suggestion.

Posted on Jan 11, 2013 in by Hammond-Harwood House



Hammond-Harwood House

The mission of the Hammond-Harwood House Association is to preserve and to interpret the architecturally significant Hammond-Harwood House Museum and its collection of fine and decorative arts, and to explore the diverse social history associated with its occupants, both free and enslaved, for the purposes of education and appreciation.
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