Friday, October 7, 2011

Proposal REVISED

The Way of the Day

Proposal Document

Group Authors:

Beth McGee

Jon Pearl

Hailey Allen

Sarah Harris

Chelsea Epes

Lauren Kaulfman

Laura Kimmer

Anuj Patel

Carlie Blake

Kelsey Walker

Shirley Bircher


Exhibit Proposal

Proposal Group (in charge of proposal)

Beth McGee Chelsea Epes Lauren Kaufman Kelsey Walker

Graphics Group

Jon Pearl Sarah Harris Carlie Blake

Artifacts Group

Hailey Allen Laura Kimmel Anuj Patel Shirley Bircher


The arrival of the idea went as follows. At the initial meeting of the group, the first idea was from Beth, who brought up Thomas Day’s furniture and gave a brief description of his story. The book “Thomas Day: master craftsman and free man of color” by Patricia Phillips Marshall and Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll was also noted as available for information on the topic. Carlie thought of the idea of displaying silverware and the various implements used in dining and then a historical account of their evolution. Hailey offered the idea of collapsible furniture and the use of various forms throughout history. Carlie also brought up the idea of displaying the history or use of the pinch. Beth offered the idea of Julius Schulman and his major influence on modern architecture with the support of a Netflix documentary called “Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman”. After analyzing and discussing these topics, we had no additional ideas come forth and so we decided to take a vote on the ideas we had. Thomas Day was the winner unanimously. A possible list of research sources offered by the group included the book noted above, available in the Jackson library and the IARC office, and the Thomas Day exhibit that was at The North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh called “Behind the Veneer: Thomas Day, Master Cabinetmaker.” According to their website, this museum exhibitgoes behind the veneer of antebellum North Carolina to reveal its complexities. Many restrictive laws applied to free people of color, except the right to own property. By capitalizing on this freedom, Day built a life for himself….” Our idea is to look at a different point of view. Another support for the research is the use of interviewing Jo. Beth has already asked her for access to the photographs that were in her book, and she graciously said she thought she did have access to them and we could use them. The name was decided after a brain storming session at the following meeting where Jon brought up the idea of “The Way of the Day.” This hints at the direction for the exhibit concept that we had been discussing.


The idea behind the exhibit is the concept of showing the specific style or “the way” of design and manufacturing used by Day and its evolution through his lifetime. All of the objects in the exhibit will be tied together with an overarching design graphic of a timeline. Each piece will be tied back to its placement on the timeline. The artifacts will utilize mostly photography for representation, with three actual artifacts, and with a reproduction mantel and surround highlighted as a focal point. Two additional interactive exhibits will be used to provide information using videography of interiors to provide more detail. One could be an interview with the author. Some type of interactive using the timeline could also help with different artifacts coming up when you selected a certain timeperiod along the timeline.

Beth, Shirley, Anuj, Laura, and Carlie discussed the graphic design of the exhibit and divided the posters up to six main groups. The artwork and graphic information is explained further after the layout is discussed.

Six main photo posters will be divided by:
Commercial- church/education

These each will be represented through various times along the timeline.

Examples of objects that may be included in the photography portion could include the following:

Figure 1 Crib mid 19th century

Figure 2 Centre table circa 1857

Figure 3 Wardrobe with scroll interior circa 1854


Figure 4 Rocking chair and footrest circa mid 19th century

Figure 5 Side chair circa 1855


Figure 6 Stair and bracket example showing earlier design development

Figure 7 Stair designs showing scroll work


A suggestion for the mantel recreation is shown in Figure 8 Mantel and surround, plus settee circa 1941.

Figure 8 Mantel and surround, plus settee circa 1941


Figure 9/10 Commercial work at UNC

Figure 11/2 Church furniture and pew arm template

Photo by Jon

Figure 11 Jon's Thomas Day bureau find
Actual furniture artifact example that could be used is seen in figure 13.
The story descriptions of the objects showing each artifact and who it was built for will be included in a placard near each artifact with simple graphics to include a small timeline graphic representation. All along the two side main walls and within the photographic large poster displays the timeline will visually tie the exhibit together.
How users will experience the exhibit is through a serpentine route that winds through the chronologic timeline of Day’s design development. What we hope others will learn is his overall extensive design production and his unique developed personal style. The exhibit environment will look clean and functional, with strong and heavy looking wooden display bases added to the exhibits. The light and color will be focused on the displays and display cases. The use of a main accent color will be used in the graphics. A secondary support color will be used on the pedestals and in the graphics. The background (floor/walls) will be neutral colors that are common in the photographs used, likely a sepia tone, gray, black and white theme. Additional research may include reading more on Thomas Day like the book mentioned earlier, additional written documentation, visiting the current exhibit, interviewing Jo, and additional online searches. The goal is to find representative pieces and information for a pictorial journey through Day’s design lifetime.

Above write up by Beth

Layout and flow diagram proposal- artwork by Jon and Beth

Figure 14 Floorplan proposal


This is the display area of the Gatewood Studio Arts Building. Upon entering the building the Thomas Day Bureau, is in view with photographic display boards along the side. Moving to enter the exhibit the angle of viewing the artifact changes and the Mantle appears along the back wall, centering the symmetry of the display boards. The Bureau is then seen from the sides and back displaying the detailing and firmness of the bureau structure. Perhaps the drawers are opened to view the construction details. Two additional pieces will flank the mantel. The display boards will provide a picture story showing the differences throughout his designs. They will also inform about his place in the history of American furniture at the time as well as his decorative design history. Upon exiting you will be at the end of the timeline with a description overview of who Day had become and an overview of what he accomplished. A map of the exhibit showing highlights of the information covered will be given at the entrance and can be used as a take-away.

Above write up by Jon and Beth

SIGNAGE we plan to incorporate discussed by Beth, Shirley, Anuj, Laura, and Carlie:

Info Flyer- for hand out

  • outline of the exhibit
  • date, time, and location
  • subject of exhibit
  • statement on purpose of exhibit
  • image(s)
  • map of location

Placards-for each artifact

  • artifact name
  • year
  • material
  • background statement or paragraph on artifact

To be located on new raised wooden platforms which will be painted to match color scheme of exhibit and the location for the placards

Main Graphic Poster-

Main poster example #1- artwork by Carlie []

  • located outside of entrance
  • exciting graphics to draw in guests including images
  • name of exhibit, dates, etc.
  • timeline graphic highlighted

Hanging posters
  • six hanging images divided into two rows
  • suspended from ceiling with wire and eye hooks, weighted at floor
  • hot dog style
  • angled to guide guests through exhibit

    Graphic hanging poster example #1- artwork by Carlie []


    Graphic hanging poster example #2- artwork by Carlie []

    Graphic hanging poster example #3- artwork by Carlie []

    Graphic hanging poster example #4- artwork by Carlie []

    Mantel poster example #1 - Hailey Allen []
    Mantel poster example #2 - Hailey Allen []

    • located outside of entrance
    • exciting graphics to draw in guests including images
    • name of exhibit, dates, etc.
    • timeline graphic highlighted and continued with same graphic on the bottom of each poster (see above examples)

    Directories- located at the entrance and exit for describing the exhibit and a map overview including the following:

    • booklet of more information on exhibit for supplement
    • basic layout of artifacts
    • circulation diagram of exhibit
    • reference to book
    • graphic timeline integrated

    Other options we are considering:

    Floor graphics

    • floor graphic that complements the timeline graphic
    • continuation of spiral motif
    • symmetrical composition
    • also serves as guide through exhibition
    • each will cover one of the six themes serves as guide through exhibition: Furniture, Seating, Stairs/Brackets, Millwork/Casework, Mantels/Niches, Commercial- church/education


    • wall graphic that spans the length of the surrounding walls
    • will incorporate a spiral or curved graphic element that is reflective of Thomas Day's style
    • also shown in hanging posters

    We are most likely to include the main graphic poster, placards, and directories because they contain essential information. Floor graphics and raised platforms may be added for aesthetics.
    Above write up by Shirley, Anuj, and Laura

    Additional graphic, goals, and job discussions were finalized with Beth, Shirley, Kelsey, Anuj, and Laura.

    Individual blogs:

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