Over the past decade there has been much hand-wringing about the decline and fall of the historic house museum and much attention paid to strategies for resuscitating or abandoning them. All the while, a key resource for expanding the meaning of historic sites, deepening the visitor experience, and enhancing sustainability lay right outside the door: the historic landscape. This webinar will examine the variety of ways in which sites across the country are approaching the interpretation of diverse historic landscapes, from large estates to small urban sites, in order to expand a site’s significance and stimulate engagement for contemporary audiences. Join Sean Sawyer as he presents case studies focused on extracting lessons from the front lines of historic landscape interpretation. Issues examined will include: shifting organizational culture and public perception to understand the significance and value of historic landscapes; the development of site-wide interpretation to include historic landscapes as integral, rather than supplementary; the inclusion of viewsheds within the interpretation of historic landscapes; the logistics of landscape tours, including pricing, guide training, interpretive technologies, accessibility, and weather concerns; and tactics for community engagement through the historic landscape.
At the conclusion of the webinar, participants will: 1) look at their site’s landscapes with fresh eyes and be inspired to promote and support their research and interpretation; 2) appreciate historic landscapes as integral, rather than supplementary, to historic structures and collections; 3) understand the concept of viewsheds as integral to historic landscapes; 4) learn about addressing the logistics of landscape tours, including pricing, guide training, interpretive technologies, accessibility, and weather concerns; and 5) appreciate historic landscapes as offering potent opportunities for community engagement.
Recorded November 2017.