Branson Missouri Titanic Exhibit


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Timothy Trower

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I called Titanic Branson yesterday, and the representative I talked to confirmed a recent change in policy that I had been told about.

Originally still and video photography was allowed throughout the entire exhibit -- with the exception of Randy Bryan Bingham's displays of Lady Duff Gordon fashions. That display was tagged from the beginning since fabric can be extremely sensitive to light.

However, and I am summing up the conversation as I go along, numerous photos of the Lady Duff display began appearing on the internet and elsewhere; and other of the collectors that furnished display material also began voicing concerns about flash photography and its effect on paper items (as well as concerns about exclusivity when it comes to images).

This being the case, the new policy regarding photography is this: News organizations and members of the press can photograph items on display as long as they have permission from the owner of the item or items. This is a rather draconian change of policy, but one that I can understand ... conservation of these items is important ... and the no photography rule will help preserve these items for future generations to research and enjoy.

Still, Branson Titanic is a very well organized exhibit, and well worth the time to visit if you are in southwest Missouri. Just leave the video camera at home!
 
Mar 20, 2000
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The display isn’t mine. I helped with it only. The dresses belong to another collector. As for "numerous" photos of the Lady Duff Gordon exhibit turning up on the internet, actually only one was posted. It was one that a photographer took at my request during the grand opening, when it was unclear whether the "ban" on photography applied to me as a collaborator on the display. The other collector objected and I removed the image. Much more has apparently been made of this incident than there was.
 
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Timothy Trower

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Randy,

Thanks for the clarification. As I mentioned, this was just the gist of the conversation that I had with an employee at Titanic Branson a couple of days ago. Frankly, I personally know of two people who took flash photos of the Duff Gordon display (despite the signs clearly stating that such was not allowed); and high intensity flashes of light sure are not going to do any good for paper items on display, either.

Reminds me of a behind the scenes tour of the Cranbrook Institute in Michigan that we took a few years ago. The curator/guide took us into a climate controlled hermetically sealed room with special filters on the overhead lights. (Most stored items are in cabinets, although many things such as Indian canoes and the like are stored where ever there is room.)

We were talking about protecting items from the effects of light, and the curator reached into a cabinet and pulled out an Indian basket that had been displayed flat against a wall. In spite of the fact that the basket had been behind a UV filtered glass for years, the display side was bleached out -- and the wall side, protected from the glare of lights, was stunningly beautiful.

If I had ever had qualms about displaying materials in the open before, the importance of protecting archival items from light was underscored in a dramatic way with this illustration.

All the same, I understand and respect the decision to not allow photography at Titanic Branson. Mind you, I'd have liked to photograph several of the items on display for my research purposes, but I would imagine that contacting the owners of the items in question and asking for a copy of photographs which they almost certainly would have should suffice just as well.

You really do have to ask yourself if a photograph taken through a glass or plexiglass case is going to be the best quality!
 
Jul 12, 2005
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My family and I went to Branson this week to do some things before my son starts school next week, and we went by Titanic. I went in the gift shop to see what was new, and they are taking photos of the visitors on the Grand Staircase. When you finish your tour, you can pick up your photo in the Veranda Cafe. I asked about a video of the tour and the clerk in the gift shop said they don't have one for sale. I asked about a book showing the artifacts on display, and the clerk said such a book was in the planning stages. Robert H. Gibbons
 

John Clifford

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quote:

they are taking photos of the visitors on the Grand Staircase.
Is that part of the tour, where everyone is given a ticket, and supposed to stand on the staircase?
I saw that, in September 2000, at the World Trade Center (my last visit there): get your picture taken behind a drawing, in the Lobby area, and pick it up at one of the Observation Deck shops. I told the ticket issuer that I wanted to decline (I said I'd likely not buy that picture), and was allowed to head straight to the security check (to the surprise of the photographer). I did likewise in April 2004 for a photo taken during the wait at the Empire State Building.
I don't know how many of those people actually buy? Also, many vendors will likely destroy photos of anyone making obscene or offensive gestures (someone did that on the Tower of Terror ride at Disney's California Adventures, and everyone else was upset that they did not get to see themselves, even if they weren't planning to buy the photos).

Regarding the book, how long does it take to get it printed? I'm surprised it was not available in the first few weeks after the Exhibit opened.​
 
Jul 12, 2005
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Visitors on the tour climb the grand staircase to get to the second floor, and descend the grand staircase to exit the attraction into the Verandah Cafe. Since I was in the gift shop, I saw the people exiting the grand staircase and picking up their pictures in the Verandah Cafe. Many Branson attractions have photo opportunities, including Marvel Cave and various rides at Silver Dollar City. Many people don't buy their photos. I think the new photos are digital, which means they can be deleted from the computer files. As for the book, I have heard a Christmas release and that it will be a coffee-table size book with biographies of the contributors. Robert H. Gibbons
 
Feb 21, 2005
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Robert, would you mind emailing me when you get a chance? I have something I need to ask that I think would be better kept private about the Titanic Branson exhibit. I would email you, but I've lost your email address and ET doesn't give out emails publically. Thank you!

Matt.
 
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Wilma C. Whited

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I toured the Branson Titanic exhibit on 10/13/2006. In the Boiler Room, on a wall that is a large photo of Robert Douglas Spedden, there are several photos. Next to a glass case there is a photo of "Rare photo of life jacket inspection." This appears to be several members of a crew in life jackets - all males. One of the men is the spitting image of my dad. His dad disappeared in 1907 or 1908, and we can't help wonder if the man in the photo might be the missing person. Can anyone tell me where I can get a copy of this picture, as we cannot take pictures in the exhibit.
 
Jul 12, 2005
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Christmas season in Branson is filled with thousands of lights, and there is a big parade through downtown that has become an annual event.

The Titanic on Highway 76 is decorated with Christmas lights and inside, there are Christmas decorations on the Grand Staircase. Take a look at

www.titanicbranson.com.

Robert H. Gibbons
 

Eric Longo

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Aug 13, 2004
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That is really bizarre. I see there will also be a "Rose" aboard for "Sweetheart Month." This is all striking me as increasingly morbid, but that is just my opinion.

Eric Longo
 

Jim Kalafus

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Really bizarrre? I'd say it is part of the wonderful unity of class and scholarship that the museum represents~ witness these quotes from the same page:

"See the only known photographs taken onboard Titanic in the Father Browne Gallery"

"The exterior of the ship has a celebration of lights from Stem to Stern! Come Visit! Gift Shop is open to the public or visit our online gift shop"

"Even if you've toured Titanic before, a return at Christmas time will be a jolly new experience for the entire family."

Why, it's breathtaking, it's magical, it is a symphony of good ideas AND good taste, and my original severe reservations, and suspicion that that perhaps this venture was just a crass grab for the buck by people who spent a decade lambasting George Tulloch, have been swept away, like crewmembers trapped behind a collapsing bulkhead, by all the festive good cheer. Why, is that stewardess Lucy Snape herself doing the proud 'welcome aboard' brandish gesture? Gosh! I bet a visit would have cheered her orphaned children at Christmas 1912 and put her fairly painful death into a jolly and educational perpective for those little "Gloomy Gusses." I feel as giddy as Ebenezer the morning after, recant all of my earlier statements, eat a mouthful of crow, don the hairshirt, and say 'congratulations' to those authors, artists and historians who created this absolute bijou of a museum!
 

Eric Longo

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Aug 13, 2004
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You left out "Inside the Grand Staircase has been completely transformed into a magical wonderland." A magical wonderland? Like in Doctor Zhivago? Also, the stern is lit to appear "merry"? And the Titanic museum experience is "jolly" around the holidays?

"Our gift shop is open to the public, and all decked out with hundreds of unique gift selections that come wrapped in our famed Titanic red boxes. Visit our Christmas merchandise page."

"Quote from Titanic's Captain Smith, "I can not conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel." April, 1912." - from the bottom the the "About Us" page. I do wish they would fix this - it is misleading and incorrect.

Eric Longo
 

Mike Poirier

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Dec 12, 1999
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The didn't hang those decorative icicles (with lights) along the wireless antenae did they?

I think I will be going to the Christmas theme at the Newport mansions. That won't be depressing!
 
Jul 12, 2005
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Branson Titanic will have "Rose", a costumed character, at the museum during the month of February. Here is her picture from their website.

[photo edited out due to copyright]

Robert H. Gibbons
 
Jul 12, 2005
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Here's a photo of the bow of the "Titanic" in Branson with the Christmas lights. I don't see any lights or icecicles on the wireless antenna.

[photo edited out for due top copyright]

Robert H. Gibbons
 

John Clifford

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The other thing I thought was odd was the "Rent the Museum" for your activity, with an on-line ad for "Weddings on the Grand Staircase", and the image of the bride standing on the bow of the ship, with the iceberg present.
I'm sorry, that's a little too much for me; kind of reminded me of that couple who chose to have their marriage in a submersible on the bow of the Titanic.

Maybe a Christmas tree will be placed on the bow area, or a tree-shaped light arrangement. We'll see.

At least they can't do a "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" display (please tell me that Branson does not have something like that).
 

Eric Longo

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Aug 13, 2004
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"The funny thing is, there IS no stern."

That is what I was wondering about - the rendering is illuminated? To me, the bridge/superstructure looks like a Disney Parade of Lights float (no pun intended).

Eric
 
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