George C. Marshall Museum
The George C. Marshall Foundation occupies a small museum on the grounds of the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. Eisterhold Associates, Inc. (EAI) was approached to develop preliminary concepts for a museum with expanded impact and footprint, while addressing a two-fold challenge: to provide a “critical mass” of engaging experiences and to ensure that Marshall’s relevance is not lost, and is in fact enhanced, for a new generation unfamiliar with the man and the impact he had on the “American Century”.
EAI undertook a thorough review of the existing exhibits, surveyed the resources available to tell Marshall’s story, conducted focus sessions with local school children and teachers, and delved deeply into the story of the man himself to “draw Marshall from the shadows.” The new museum will focus on Marshall’s character, his decisions, and his humanity.
First, visitors will “meet” the man through an appreciation of how other world leaders saw Marshall, and then learn the genesis of his character. In the “Key Contributions” exhibit, visitors learn about the incredible global impact Marshall had during his career, each critical decision discussed as a response to issues that Marshall faced, and the consequences of his actions. Finally, they engage with “Marshall’s Legacy,” where they learn about the lasting impact of his career, as well as how they can make a difference in the world “in the spirit of Marshall.”
An immersive, multi-step “Decision Center” experience allows students the opportunity to step into the role of Marshall and his contemporaries, work with primary source documents, and collaborate to work through the challenges that Marshall faced.