Tag archive for "Alcatraz: Life on the Rock"

Alcatraz traveling museum exhibition, Traveling Exhibit

Alcatraz Exhibition

No Comments 13 November 2012

Alcatraz Exhibition:

Museum Planning, LLC is the project manager of “Alcatraz: Life on the Rock” a traveling museum exhibition created through a partnership between the National Park Service and Alcatraz Cruises, LLC (a concessioner to the NPS).  The exhibition is approximately 3000 square feet, but can be set up to be as small as 2500 square feet or as large as 3500 square feet. The exhibition is comprised of four quadrants; The Military Era, The Federal Penitentiary, The Native American Occupation and Preserving the Rock.  Ancillary exhibits tell the story of the families on Alcatraz, the gardens, the first lighthouse on the West Coast, and stories of the escapes.

The exhibition has been hosted by Liberty State Park, Ellis Island and the San Mateo County Fair.  While at the San Mateo County Fair, the exhibition was evaluated by the general public and was rated the number one attraction of the fair.  In fact, 19.7% of fairgoers went to the fair because of “Alcatraz: Life on the Rock”.

The exhibition includes original artifacts from Alcatraz, including a letter from Robert Stroud, the “Birdman of Alcatraz”.  Among the items on loan are a key to the front gate of the Alcatraz cellhouse and brass knuckles carried by Mr. Ira Bowden, a former guard at Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary.

The exhibition set up and artifact handling is managed by Mark Walhimer, a museum professional with more than 20 years of museum experience.  Robert Luke, a former prisoner on Alcatraz Island, or perhaps one of the guards at the prison are also available for personal appearances during the exhibit opening or at other times throughout the run of the exhibit.

The exhibition has received much favorable news coverage,  including the lead story in the October 7, 2012 New York Times weekend arts section national edition, WNBC evening news with Chuck Scarborough, Kate Kelly blog in the Huffington Post, just to name a few.

New York Times article

Photos of the exhibition on Pinterest

Previous Venues:
Exhibition evaluation at San Mateo County Fair June 11-19th, 2011 (more than 100,000 visitors)
Exhibition Premiere  at Ellis Island October 1, 2011 through January 15, 2012 (more than 300,000 visitors)
Liberty State Park, Central Terminal, February 8, 2012 through July 8, 2012 (more than 250,000 visitors)
Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park –  January 12, 2013 through April 14, 2013

San Francisco – Saturday April 27, 2013 and Sunday July 28, 2013

Exhibition Availability:
Exhibition Available  on the West Coast August 11, 2013 to November 11, 2013
Exhibition Available November 18, 2013 through February 18, 2014
Exhibition Available February 25, 2014 through May 25th, 2014

Contact Mark Walhimer for more information


2011 American Association of Museums Conference

No Comments 23 May 2011

2011 American Association of Museums Conferen

At the 2011 American Association of Museums conference Houston, Texas, the world’s largest gathering of museum professionals.

If you can’t attend the conference in Texas you can attend the virtual conference:


I will be at the conference until Thursday morning.  Looking forward to catching up with friends, visiting the Rothko Chapel, the Cy Twombly Gallery and the Dan Flavin Installation at Richmond Hall.

On Tuesday morning I will be at the 7:30AM Traveling Exhibition Forum announcing special American Association of Museums pricing for the “Alcatraz: Life on the Rock” traveling exhibition. If you can’t attend the conference send me an email about the AAM pricing.

Would love to catch up with friends!  You can reach me through facebook at


or email


or cell phone


All the best, Mark


Alcatraz Traveling Exhibition !

No Comments 17 February 2011

"Alcatraz: Life on the Rock" Entrance

Have been hired by Alcatraz Cruises to project manage the new 2800 square foot traveling exhibition “Alcatraz: Life on the Rock”.  The exhibition is opening at Ellis Island October 2011.  Prior to the opening we would like to evaluate the exhibition with the general public.

We are interested in finding a California Bay Area venue that would be available to host the exhibition for 2-3 weeks during March or April for visitor evaluation.  We would cover costs during the exhibition evaluation and there would be no cost for the exhibition rental.

Exhibition Information
“Alcatraz: Life on the Rock” exhibition link:

Alcatraz: Life on the Rock showcases Alcatraz Island’s fascinating history and infamous inmates.  Guests step through cell doors to enter “Alcatraz: Life on the Rock”, which explores the island’s history from several angles.
  • “How Do You Know Alcatraz?” An interactive introduction, complete with a model of the island and a look at The Rock’s place in media and movies.
  • “Military History” examines Alcatraz’s role as a Civil War-era fortress and military prison.
  • A recreated prison cell is the centerpiece of “Life on the Inside,” which looks at the conditions convicts experienced in Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary.
  • “Strength: The Native American Occupation” chronicles the 19-month occupation of Alcatraz by a group of activists.
  • “Preserving the Rock” highlights the island’s current status as a national park and shares images of its lush gardens and wildlife.
The traveling exhibition includes authentic artifacts and interactive displays that present surprising stories and a behind-the-scenes look at chambers not normally open to visitors.
Several Alcatraz alumni loaned authentic memorabilia to the exhibition, including an original letter written by Robert “Birdman” Stroud, when he was an Alcatraz prisoner; an Alcatraz shank, made froma butter knife and wrapped in electrical tape, that was taken from a prisoner in a shakedown; and an original brass key to an Alcatraz visiting room door.

Sit at the visitation booth, and listen to tales told by convicts and guards. Peek through a replica of the tunnel escapees dug to break out of Alcatraz. View historic footage and hear accounts of Alcatraz residents, rangers, prisoners and guards. From walk-through cell doors to life-sized murals and models, an immersive experience awaits.  Few destinations captivate visitors as Alcatraz does – and now, Alcatraz: Life on the Rock takes the island’s intriguing story on the road.

The exhibition will be available for rental starting January 2012.

For more information:
Mark Walhimer

"Alcatraz: Life on the Rock" Inmate Cell Recreation

"Alcatraz: Life on the Rock" Inmates

"Alcatraz: Life on the Rock" Escape Attempts

"Alcatraz: Life on the Rock" Military History


museumplanner.org is run by Mark Walhimer, Managing Partner of Museum Planning, LLC an exhibition design and museum planning company.

Mark is available for consultations. Feel free to contact him using our contact form.

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