Not many museums would let the general public decide on a new exhibit, but the staff at Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in New Hampshire is reaching out to you for suggestions.
Beginning Tuesday, the park will be looking for comments on its Facebook page concerning the exhibit, to be called Raiders of the Lost Art.
For the next two months, you and your friends can help create the new museum exhibit, which will be composed of actual museum objects and placed on display in the historic site's Visitor Center.
Located in Cornish, New Hampshire, Saint-Gaudens preserves the home, studios, and gardens of American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907). In addition to the sites's historic buildings and landscape, it holds the largest collection of Saint-Gaudens artwork and associated materials in the world.
While the park has more than 100 pieces of Saint-Gaudens work on display in its galleries, it has thousands more museum items in its collection that have never before had the chance to be displayed for the public. The "unseen" collection includes many more sculptural works by Saint-Gaudens; paintings, sculpture, pottery, and other works by other members of the Saint-Gaudens family; clothing and textiles associated with Saint-Gaudens and family; a variety of different works of art by members of the Cornish Art Colony that sprung up around Saint-Gaudens in Cornish, New Hampshire; historic domestic materials, and many other miscellaneous items.
Starting on January 21, visitors to the park's Facebook page will help the park's staff select the theme for a new exhibit in the park visitor center.
"We will help toss out some initial ideas based upon what we know we have in the collection, but we want you and your friends to come up with ideas, too," said park spokesman Gregory Schwarz. "We will put the best ones out for you to 'like' on Facebook to settle on a final theme. Then, in successive weeks, we will post photos of museum items that could be part of this museum exhibit on Facebook. Again, you will all be encouraged to 'like' the items you want to see included in the exhibit.
"Finally, our museum staff will take all of the items that you select and place them on display in one of our museum cases in the park Visitor Center for all park visitors to enjoy next summer."
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site is located off NH Route 12A, just north of the Cornish-Windsor covered bridge. The park is open daily from Memorial Day weekend through October 31.