Wright Museum Installing Ambitious New Lobby Display

The Wright Museum of World War II in Wolfeboro has chosen the 1944 Battle of the Bulge for what Executive Director Michael Culver said may be its “most complex lobby display yet.”

“The display is theater, but the reason behind the display is educational,” said Culver, who said the inspiration behind the display is the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge.

“Hopefully, the impact of the display will make visitors want to learn more about the Battle, WWII personalities, events and consequences in general,” he said.

The Attack on Pearl Harbor, D-Day and the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI have served as subjects for previous lobby exhibits.

“The lobby is so important every year because it sets the tone of the museum for visitors,” he said. “If they are wowed by the entrance, then they get excited about the rest of the museum.”

As for the display itself, Culver explained that volunteers and staff are currently working to take a winter battle scene photograph to cover the lobby walls and serve as backdrop to the exhibit. 

“The snow scene photo is taken on the property of one of our board members,” said Culver, who added that vintage WWII vehicles and volunteers dressed as American Soldiers make up the photo.  

“Setting up the camera to take numerous photos is time consuming, but necessary,” he said. “It’s much like filming a movie. We are fortunate to have so many dedicated volunteers that donate their time on the weekends to this type of ambitious project.”

In addition to the winter battle photograph, the 25 by 16 foot exhibit will include soldier-dressed mannequin figures to bring the exhibit to life, he said.

Volunteer and board member Randy Cook, discussed the importance that the mannequin figures accurately represent the time period.

 “Making sure the soldiers have the correct equipment and are wearing it correctly is an important technical aspect for me,” said Cook, who added how important the display to teach history. 

“It was the second deadliest battle, killing 19,000 Americans,” he said. “I hope this display gives people a better understanding of what these men did and sacrificed.” 

 The display, according to Culver, should be ready in time for the 2019 season, which begins in May. 

The region’s leading resource for educators and learners of all ages on World War II, the Wright Museum features more than 14,000 items in its collection that are representative of both the homefront and battlefield.