The students congregated at the home of their school's namesake, the Mary Washington House, to create an exhibit called "Nobly Has That Little Band Worked," based on the effort to preserve the site.
They researched the history of how the home--built in the 1750s and purchased in the 1770s by
"There's really no other way to get a holistic view of exhibit planning like this," Crystal said.
The exhibit is the first of its scale at Mary Washington House, where space constraints make large-scale displays difficult.
Crystal said learning about early preservationists added another layer of interest to the project for him and his 13 classmates.
"It's cool to learn about early preservation groups," he said. "It was early on, but they still cared about history. It's humbling to see their work."
Among those early preservationists was
They have a small staff and limited resources, so being able to tap into the students' creativity and need for hands-on learning opportunities helped them get the exhibit done before next year's 125th anniversary of the saving of the house.
The exhibit is presented on ladders made by the students, which blend in with the outdoors and the garden it overlooks.
"I never would have come up with the ladder idea, but it works so perfectly," Roland said.
The students uncovered previously forgotten facts about the museum's past.
He also donated money to other
Roland said uncovering facts like these caused her and Darron to begin creating an archive of documents the Mary Washington House owns.
Darron, who was one of the early graduates of the preservation program, said she "can't believe how much [the department] has grown" since she received her degree in 1983.
"They learn practical skills," she said. "They see how the process works in the real world."
She said students in the class told her they learned how to be flexible on a job site and how to solve problems.
Crystal said he is taking his newfound knowledge to
"There was no better way to learn," he said.
WHAT: "Nobly Has That Little Band Worked"
WHERE: Mary Washington House,
WHEN: Begins today
MORE INFORMATION: washingtonheritagemuseums.org, facebook.com/MWHExhibit
(c)2014 The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Va.)
Visit The Free Lance-Star (Fredericksburg, Va.) at www.fredericksburg.com/flshome
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