The Sixth Floor Museum

Review

of an Exhibition

by Paul Orselli

Published on November 05, 2009

  • Description:

    I’m sure in many people’s minds The Sixth Floor Museum is thought of as “the place where Oswald shot Kennedy.”

    It is of course that, but the museum strives to present President Kennedy, his life, his political legacy, and his last few hours in Dallas, in context.

    This is a tricky job, given that the open space they have to work with is one floor of a fairly mundane warehouse building, and that there are not that many artifacts on view.

    The “heavy lifting” design-wise is left to a maze of graphic panels and an excellent audio tour produced by Antenna Audio. Along the circuitous route of information panels, the museum provides a bit of history regarding President Kennedy’s time in office and the events immediately before and after his assassination. There are also opportunities to pause and watch short video presentations about significant events in Kennedy’s presidency and the events leading up to his death in Dallas.

    I would like to say that the corner window (behind plexiglas panels) that Oswald used to fire on the presidential limousine was not the “highlight” of The Sixth Floor experience, but, inevitably, it was. It was strange to see how the location Oswald chose (directly above a sharp hairpin curve on the motorcade’s route) was ideal for his purpose.

    That all being said, there is a “strength of place” surrounding the whole “Sixth Floor” experience similar to the way I felt standing near the site of the Old North Bridge in Concord, MA - the realization that this very ordinary place was the site of an extraordinary moment that shifted history in a significant way.

Latest Comments (1)

Great review.

by Patricia Guerrero knight - February 26, 2010

Beautifully written, Paul. . .

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