My Visit to the Charlestown Naval Yard

My visit to the Charlestown Navy Yard is one I will not soon forget. I remember walking up to the gates and being so excited to see the USS Constitution the oldest active ship in the United States Navy and the oldest active ship in the world. Perhaps the yard is mot famous for building the USS Constitution a ship that has many tales associated with her great name. She fought in the War of 1812 where she and her crew captured numerous merchant ships and fought in several major battles.

Some background on the Navy Yard, the earliest shipbuilding activity began during the Revolutionary War. The land for the Navy Yard however, was not purchased until 1800. The first ship to be built there was the USS Independence. The Yard, was mainly used for repair and not shipbuilding.

(The USS Constitution headed for port)

I arrived to the Navy Yard via cab. I had decided to visit the USS Constitution Museum earlier that day. The museum is an interactive look at what the daily life of a sailor was like during the War of 1812. It also contained some awesome information and activities about the War of 1812.I had heard the museum was very interactive and I was super excited to see how it was. One of my favorite exhibits was one where you had to “load a cannon and fire it at an enemy ship it was really fun watching the little kids do it.

The major portion of the interactive exhibit called “All Hands on Deck: A Sailor’s Life in 1812 ” was housed upstairs. The majority of this exhibit was upstairs. It began with you “meeting” with a recruiter to determine your readiness for battle. The next  step was getting your seabag full of your uniforms. The kids were able to try on the uniforms to see what they were actually like. The next step in the process, was determining how you would spend your pay. You could buy extra blankets, hard tack, or even a pair of dress shoes that would last you the entire time you were out at sea. A lot of times the  men only took along necessities and nothing more. SO having a bit of hard tack would be a real treat.

Continuing on the next stop was the sleeping quarters. I thought this was the best part. (I had been on my feet all day at this point.) They had all of the hammocks lined up just like they would have been in the bottom of the ship. I definitely took a nap here; it was super dark and calming. Then after you left that area, you headed over to learn how to hoist a sail; It was really funny watching adults do this. The arguments that happened were quite comical.

From there you reach the end of the exhibit which tells you all about what happened to real sailors on the USS Constitution. Some of the men had amazing stories. My favorite tory was one where after he was dismissed from the Navy he loved the ocean so much that he joined a group of pirates and wa subsequently arrested for his crimes. One sailor was murdered during a game of cards. I thought it was really cool to see what life after the Navy was like.

I think that the Museum was excellent. It really helped you understand the hardship that the sailors went through on a daily basis. I think that this is definitely a must see when you are in Boston either by yourself or with your family. It was a truly awesome museum. I loved the museum and how interactive it was even better than I expected!

Advertisements

A Review of the Louvre Website

The Louvre is by far one of the most famous museums in the world holding such master pieces as the Mona Lisa and the Winged Victory of Samothrace. It is the premiere museum for the exploration of the arts and classical objects.

When you first log onto the Louvre website you are immediately greeted with the website in French. You must go to the top right hand corner in order to switch the website to English. The sliding cover image is filled with such links to explore the masterpieces and then go see the new galleries such as one on the Art of French Living. They even have one thanking the sponsors of the museum if you wait long enough on that page.

The tabs on the top of the page are used for guidance to what one would assume are the most sought after topics. The first one being about planning your visit to the Louvre. When you glide over the topic a bunch of other subtopics come down to help you get more in depth. I really like this format. It is easy to navigate and super straight forward. The subtopics include how to get to the museum, where to eat, and the floor plans. As someone who got lost in the Louvre, having the floor plans is awesome. It is very easy to get lost in the museum.

The next topic is activities and tours. This topic seems to be aimed more towards educators and people that are buying the audio tour. It also gives you the link to look at the guided tours that are available. They also have the link to what is a virtual tour and overview of some of the amazing artifacts that are in the collections. This of course, only gives the highlights but that is what I would want to see. It is good to let people know the vastness of the collection.

The next tab is about the exhibits and the current events that are happening at the Louvre at that moment. It’s a good thing to know what is happening and when so you can plan out you’re visit to the museum.  I would like to know about the things that are happening while I am at the museum and this is the section I would go to for that.

The second to last tab has links to online tours and the collections that are catalogued online. The online tour would probably be for people who don’t have the ability to go to the Louvre for various reasons. I spent five days at the Louvre, and I know I didn’t see everything. I think that the accessibility to the online collections is so handy. I would think that they are utilized by many people.

My favorite section and the last section is the learning about art tab. It how different ways that art can be taught and the elements of art. This is a good section for a beginner who has never been to an art museum before. Including tales of the louvre an interactive story of the beginning of the Louvre.

I think that the website does have faults. The main one being that you aren’t getting the same content on the pages with the different languages. The website that is in French is not the same as the English page. I think it would be useful to have a universal page. The same homepage showing the same exhibits for all languages. I scanned through most of the languages and a lot of them were different. I think that overall this website is very well put together.

I think that overall the webite is well put together and very user friendly. I would definitely use it in the future.

Thoughts and Ideas for updating cultural exhibits.

Something I have seen my entre time at Museums is the old version of the ethnographic exhibit. These older exhibits, like the ones I experienced were depicting the people as not a civilized as the American population. I see a lot of museums such as the Field in Chicago still maintaining and operating these exhibits.

One specific exhibit that I remember from when I was a Kid is the exhibit involving lions the at ate people on the African Savanna. They are called the Lions of Tsavo, They killed over 30 people When they were alive, I remember my dad telling me the story of them when I was a little girl. I never really noticed the brass statues until I was older.

The Brass statues portray the African ribal people trying to fight off the Lions. Not only are they portrayed as primitive it actually never happened that way. The lions attacked the construction workers building a railroad. They were killed by 2 men leading an expedition for the railroad.

These people were not helpless. They have been living on the African savanna for a while and the portrayal of them being helpless is not accrate at all. I think that this is one of the most interesting old exhibit at the museum. I think that the prtrayel of the tribal people is the most interesting point because these lions were killed in 1891. That this is one of the interesting parts to me how the age of the exhibit effects portrayal