Glory Days: New York Baseball 1947-1957
Museum of the City of New York
Michael Gericke (principal in charge), Don Bilodeau, Gillian de Sousa, Nicholas Mucilli, Jed Skillins, Sandra Watanabe
R.H. Guest Inc. (exhibits)
Peter Mauss/Esto Photographics
This exhibition celebrated the remarkable achievements, personalities, and spirit of New York’s beloved baseball teams between 1947 and 1957. Featuring many artifacts never before displayed for public viewing, the exhibition told its stories through archival photos, film footage, memorabilia, and ephemera from the museum, the Baseball Hall of Fame, and private collections.
Pentagram sought to immerse visitors fully in the aura of baseball’s glory days. Floors were painted with the markings of a baseball diamond, and large-scale historical photo images of the Dodgers’ Ebbets Field and baseball fans and players lined the back and side walls of the space.
Divided thematically into nine “innings” and one “extra inning,” the exhibit was dominated by 10-ft.-tall pennant-shaped display structures that helped organize the content. Their triangular shape provided space for exhibition text and interactive displays, while their pennant-shaped tops displayed the theme of the information presented below. Each structure was marked with a large number coordinated to the inning it represented, also providing a discernible sequence for visitors.
Diamond-shaped glass vitrines marching through the center of the exhibit space contained special objects, including jerseys, bats, balls, baseball caps, and other artifacts. The first item visitors encountered when they entered the space—housed in a vitrine appropriately placed on “home base”—was the last home base used at Ebbets Field before it was demolished in 1960.
“This exhibition shouts baseball loud and strong. Super clear signing tells the story in nine innings. The pennant-shaped walls cut on a diagonal offer a perfect form and scale for inning titles. The variety of scale in photomurals helps to differentiate main messages from detailed information. I like that all surfaces of the space are considered in creation of a place, helping to transport visitors to this virtual playing field.”