Thursday, October 15, 2009

have field trip

I didn't know that in Grad school, it was still possible to have field trips! For my Museum Studies class, we were lucky enough to get after hours access to the Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles, VA. Basically it's an extension of the National Air and Space Museum on the mall. It's large enough to hold thousands of aviation and space artifacts that are too large to be exhibited in the city.

We were discussing the Enola Gay and the controversy around the plane and an exhibition that failed and was inevitably canceled in 1994. For those of you that don't know, this B-29 was used to drop the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The curator wanted to focus on various aspects surrounding the war, the plane and the atomic bomb at the 50th anniversary of the end of WWII. The AFA and Veterans were not pleased with the planned exhibit and since they couldn't come to a compromise, it was canceled and a simplistic display was featured in the Air and Space Museum for a few months before the plane was finally transfered to the Udvar-Hazy Center.

We were able to walk around the Center and see various planes, and were given a private tour by Tom Crouch, who was a part of the original controversy surrounding the Enola Gay. We were given a first hand account of the events surrounding the exhibition and the history surrounding the plane. I felt like a little kid on a class field trip, and most of the class were running around. I took a few pictures and the trip was fun, but overall disappointing. It's really disappointing to see how the Enola Gay has been limited to be featured as only a B-29 and not for the role its had to ending the war. Regardless, it was a lot of fun to get a different class experience.

For more pictures, click here!

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