Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures Inc. Saint Louis, MO

Project Details

Fabric 1

Backlit Knit Fabric
Supplier: Fisher Textiles

Design Name
Matt Gurley

Design Company
Missouri History Museum

Fabrication Company
Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures, Inc.

Graphics Name
Matt Gurley

Graphics Company
Missouri History Museum

Project Manager Name
Bill Eads

Project Manager Company
Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures, Inc.

Installation Company
Lawrence Fabric & Metal Structures, Inc.

Please describe the project specifications

Custom fabricated and installed seven aluminum framed fabric radius backlit lightboxes 10’ high, 6” deep ranging from 27’ to 39’ wide. These backlit screen structures displaying the giant panoramas are curved, partly to minimize distortions but also to allow History Museum visitors to immerse themselves in the scenes. The panoramic photos selected from museum archives were printed on backlit knit fabric and attached via aluminum extrusion to the interior perimeter of the light box frame along with LED lighting. All exposed aluminum was painted black.

What was the purpose of this project? What did the client request?

The purpose of this display was to explore the city’s history from 1900 to 1950 through panoramic photographs. Seven images were blown up to life-size on backlit screens, depicting broad local history. The client wanted the museum visitors to feel like they were walking back through historical times and experience these iconic events.

What is unique or complex about the project?

The sheer size of the graphic panels produced from archived museum photos
was complex due to the age and intricate details involved in the images. These 7 backlit screen structures displaying the giant panoramas are curved allowing visitors to experience St. Louis past in such a unique setting.

What were the results of the project?

This Panoramas of the City display drew one of the largest crowds to visit the museum. Adam Kloppe, a public historian at the museum and the head writer and researcher behind the exhibit stated “I think it’s presented in such a breathtaking way, in a way you’ve never seen photographs before and never seen St. Louis history before. The way they are presented really puts you in that moment in a way that a regular photograph can’t.”

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