We recently welcomed a new display to our atrium walkway, created by AmeriCorps Museum Educators Sarah Bonawitz and Rebecca Gormley, who humorously shared their process and inspiration.
We designed and installed Philbert’s Travels: Around the World in 17 Scenes, the latest ramp box exhibit. Inspired by the Museum’s beautiful collections of glass penguins, antique tin toys, miniature architecture, and Victorian dollhouse furniture, we wanted to combine some of these pieces with our own handmade components. Using the wide variety of materials the Museum’s basement had to offer and the guidance of several Museum staff, we created a quirky story about a penguin named Philbert who travels the world. As we also love to travel, we felt it best that the real story – Philbert’s story – come from none other than Philbert himself.
“Everyone thinks that a penguin’s life is all fun and games. Sure, there’s the sledding on your stomach and playing a game of “Go Fish” around the fire, but sometimes you just want to get away from the everyday. That’s why I, Philbert the Penguin, decided to take the trip of a lifetime.
First I made a list of all the places I wanted to go. As it turns out, there were a fair few. I knew I wanted to lounge under the feathery branches of palm trees at the beach, to ride along cottony clouds in a multi-colored balloon, and perhaps above all, to float among the ribbon-like rings of Saturn and shiny satellites of the Final Frontier. Almost as important as the where, of course, was how I would get from place to place. During the average day, your average penguin does an average amount of waddling and sliding, but I had to keep reminding myself that this was to be the trip of a lifetime! From boarding mountain-bound trains to sailing the seven seas, a penguin needs to be ready for anything. “No more waddling for me,” I thought, “No siree – I am finally going to fly!”
And fly I did! From scaling mountains to touring the City of Love to making new friends, I have memories I’ll never forget. Sure, not everything went exactly as planned on my trip – there was the day I spent hours waiting for my bus to the beach. There was the agonizing time I lost my way in the desert. And I’m only just recovering from the time I stumbled upon an erupting volcano. But hey, that’s why they call it an adventure!”