The Mercer Museum is home to an astonishing collection of pre- and early Industrial American material culture in a beloved, fixed, core exhibition. They hired Metcalfe to help prototype new ways for visitors to connect with objects in a curated exhibit.
The Museum wanted to break their own mold of light interpretation applied to an overwhelming display by curating an exhibit with a small number of objects from the museum’s 17,000 piece collection. The exhibit builds upon the core collection by allowing visitors to consider the stories of these objects, how they might be connected, what may be overlooked or absent, and how their own stories may relate to the collection.
After a deeply collaborative process involving staff, community “ambassadors”, and consultants, Metcalfe completed the first prototype installation in 2021. The goal for this two-year project is to widen the Mercer’s practice, building a more inclusive and challenging museum.