Strawbery Banke Museum

Portsmouth, NH

Experiential design strategy showcases "Portsmouth Possessions" at Strawbery Banke Museum

Winter Holben crafted the visual identity and strategy for the Strawbery Banke Museum’s expansive exhibit, “Portsmouth Possessions: Objects that Shaped the City.” The richly curated collection of textiles, clothes, furniture and artifacts owned and utilized by Portsmouth residents over the span of more than four centuries is displayed in select historic homes across the museum's campus. Our design strategy includes an impactful identity system and series of experiential graphics that draw attention and provide navigation and information across the vast museum property.

Through a series of collaborative design phases, we designed experiential graphics to exude a sense of place and of time's passage. Inspired by colors of featured artifacts, the currents of the Piscataqua River that impact the museum so dramatically, and our own connections to the city, the design took shape.

Our strategy for implementation utilized a select series of exposed beams and the soaring ceiling of the uniquely complex interior space of the Visitors Center. And beyond the main entry, a custom graphic adorns an information wall, welcoming guests and marking the official start of the exhibit. Throughout, custom descriptive panels provide detail about each item, and a series of color-coded exterior wayfinding signs display photography of special pieces and lead guests to focal points of the collection.

Strawbery Banke Museum Chief Curator, Elizabeth Farish said of the exhibit design, "I think the contemporary design provided by Winter Holben allows our visitors to understand how the objects featured in the exhibit were also once new. Portsmouth Possessions intends to highlight the breadth of Portsmouth history, with objects from the First Period through the Twentieth century.  The exhibit design brings us into the Twenty-first."  

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