The Statue of Liberty Museum opened on Liberty Island, New York on May 16. Aside from grand views of the Lady of the Harbour, the museum, managed by the US National Park Service, will provide a multi-sensory experience to visitors.
The 26,000-square-foot museum bears three interactive galleries, and intends to change the way people experience Lady Liberty. Tourists in the past would take a ferry to Liberty Island, from where they’d head to the monument’s pedestal for an orientation. Overcrowding and not being able to book a ticket to the crown were major issues. Now, visitors (especially those not fond of water) can head straight to the museum on Ellis Island to enjoy panoramic views and an education into the history of the monument.
The museum offers a briefing about the Statue via its ‘immersive theater’: a three-part video that explains what inspired French artist Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi to create the Statue. Visitors may then head to the Inspiration Gallery for a view of the Statue’s original torch from 1884, and an enormous copper model of its face. A model of Bartholdi’s studio has been placed in the Engagement Gallery. There’s also an interactive exhibit where visitors are asked to take photographs of themselves and share their personal opinions on the meaning of liberty.
The effort is part of a $100 million beautification project led by designer Diane von Furstenberg—and she’s left no stone unturned when it comes to accessibility. Kiosks are at an optimum level for wheelchair users; custom headsets with audio narration are available for blind visitors; and deaf and hard-of-hearing guests can use hand-held devices for an ASL tour of the museum. Manhattan-based ESI Design have imagined the museum’s exhibits, alongside FXCollaborative.
Have a look at the official photos of this thoughtful space:
Admission to the museum is free. For more details visit libertyellisfoundation.org