Today, on Friday, November 21st, the Star-Spangled Banner exhibition opens to the public at the National Museum of American History in Washington DC. Partner Jonathan Alger has been working on the project for eight years, since 2000. Sneak peek posts here and here .
Some early press mentions are already in. Here is a quick roundup (all excerpts originate in separate articles): ...there’s no doubt that the centerpiece of the renovated museum—the American flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write his famous poem—has never looked more magnificent. It’s inspiring as it sits behind a 35-foot glass wall in a theaterlike space, dimly lit to recall “dawn’s early light.” – Washington Post The new Star-Spangled Banner exhibit is … fantastic; the flag is huge and it looks like it’s floating in its case. – Washington PostThe flag, 30 by 34 feet of wool and cotton, is stunningly laid out... – Edward Rothstein, New York Times The star-spangled banner that once flew over Fort McHenry and inspired our national anthem is one of the top attractions at the newly reopened National Museum of American History… – Atlanta Journal Constitution ...the glittering centerpiece of the museum is the new Star-Spangled Gallery, which offers visitors a unique look at the nearly 200-year-old Star Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired the national anthem. – Baltimore Sun Of all the pieces of America’s history, the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write our National Anthem takes pride of place in the refurbished museum ... It’s a throat-catching reminder of determination and endurance. – NPR Now, after nearly two centuries ... the Star-Spangled Banner is center stage again, gloriously presented and carefully protected in the recently reopened National Museum of American History on the National Mall. - Baltimore Sun The highlight of the transformed museum is definitely the Star Spangled Banner—the flag that flew at the Battle of Baltimore during the War of 1812 and inspired Francis Scott Key to write what became our national anthem ... Before exiting the room, make a stop at the interactive table that allows visitors to touch an image of the flag to learn more about its history. – Washingtonian.com The Star-Spangled Banner has a snazzy new home – and it’s already the talk of the town. – Baltimore Sun [It will] make you cry. It’s amazing. We brought our grandfather back who had served in World War Two and just the opportunity to see something that is so historic is amazing. I thought the flag exhibit was breathtaking. It’s a lovely exhibit in the way it’s presented, the lighting. It’s just gorgeous. - Museum visitors, quoted by Voice of America.
Project credits: exhibit design by Jonathan Alger of C&G Partners in collaboration with Tom Geismar of Chermayeff & Geismar Studio. Architectural design by SOM. Final AV design by RBH. Final interactive table design by Potion.