WILLIAMSBURG, Va., Dec. 9, 2008 – A nationally prominent design services firm and a senior curator have been selected to support planning for replacement of the Yorktown Victory Center, a museum of the American Revolution operated by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, a Virginia state agency that also administers Jamestown Settlement history museum.
Gallagher & Associates of Bethesda, Md., was chosen from seven firms submitting proposals to design exhibition galleries for the new facility. Gallagher designed the Jamestown Settlement gallery exhibits that opened in October 2006. Other recent projects include the Sant Ocean Hall at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, National World War II Museum in New Orleans, and Normandy American Cemetery Visitor Center in France.
Sarah Meschutt was appointed senior curator, with a key role in planning new permanent gallery exhibits and development of the collection of objects relating to the American Revolution period. She previously was chief curator of collections at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, consulting curator for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund at Kykuit, Pocantico Hills, N.Y., and keeper of edged weapons at the Royal Armouries Museum, H.M. Tower of London. She has a Ph.D. in history of art from Oxford University and a master’s degree in art history from St. Andrews University, Scotland.
Replacement of the Yorktown Victory Center, which opened in 1976 as a bicentennial visitor center, was identified last year by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation Board of Trustees as the best long-term solution to addressing future visitation demands and maintenance costs and optimizing site utilization, while allowing the existing museum building to remain open during construction. The 2008 Virginia General Assembly authorized $3 million, with half to come from non-general fund revenue generated by the Foundation, for environmental impact studies, architectural and engineering services, and exhibit design services. A nationally known architectural and engineering firm, Westlake Reed Leskosky, began work in September.
The new facility, approximately 80,000 square feet in size, will locate expanded exhibition galleries, classroom and event space, visitor services, gift shop and support functions in one building and improve access to outdoor interpretive programming. Architectural preliminary design and exhibit design schematic plans are expected to be complete in mid-2009.
The Yorktown Victory Center is located on Route 1020 in Yorktown and is open daily year-round except Christmas and New Year’s days. For more information about the museum, visit hif.ciniva.net.