NEC Display Solutions Client Installation Museums & Leisure

MUSEUM OF LONDON

DIGITAL DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY BRINGS FICTION TO LIFE

Digital media is widely used in museums today, presenting exhibits to today’s technology savvy public in a way which inspires, stimulates and entertains. At its latest exhibition, the Museum of London employs projection and LCD display technology from NEC to bring to life the backdrop of Victorian London which plays stage to the fictional character of Sherlock Holmes. NEC videowall technology keeps visitors engaged for a fully immersive Sherlock Holmes experience.

The Museum of London documents the history of London from prehistoric to modern times primarily focusing on social history and the life of London’s inhabitants throughout time. It is therefore eminently qualified to host its latest special exhibition; Sherlock Holmes: the man who never lived and will never die. Sir Conan Doyle’s character has endured for more than 125 years and is now arguably the most iconic fictional Londoner, with a global reach and worldwide fan base.

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Transcending literature onto stage and screen, Sherlock Holmes continues to fascinate audiences to this day. In this exhibition, London’s first on the detective since 1951, the Museum of London uses early film, photography and paintings plus original Victorian era artefacts to recreate the atmosphere of Sherlock’s London, and to re-imagine the places featured in Conan Doyle’s famous stories.

The Challenge

Exhibiting the various film and photographic content to stitch together the many faces of Sherlock Holmes led museum curators to investigate the use of projection and digital display technology plus suitable digital media to carry off an ambitious and impactful climax to the exhibition, to give visitors a fully immersive Sherlock Holmes experience.

Sherlock Holmes is as popular on screen as he is on the page so the exhibition needed a strong audio-visual presence,” explains lead curator Alex Werner. “We wanted a memorable conclusion to the exhibition, one that played on Sherlock’s immortality; that Conan Doyle didn’t succeed in killing off his most famous character.”

The NEC Solution

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NEC Display Solutions was approached by the Museum of London to fulfil their audio-visual needs and was signed as Technology Partner for the exhibition which opened in October 2014. Throughout the exhibition, NEC 21.5” desktop displays, 40” and 42” large format displays and a PX750U projector convey the narrative, whilst sixteen 46” NEC X464UN LED backlit videowall displays with integrated OPS single board computers help drive content to create the canvas for the exhibition’s final compelling reveal.

We identified NEC videowall display equipment as the best technology solution for this part of the exhibition, which will also be the final section and the one that all our visitors will leave talking about,” says Rebecca Gilmore, exhibitions project manager at the Museum of London.

The use of a large videowall in an enclosed space enables us to create a dramatic, engaging and immersive experience for our visitors,” explains Alex Werner. “They are with Holmes in the torrent and roar of the Reichenbach Falls, whilst the accompanying soundscape, using excerpts from ‘The Final Problem’ and ‘The Empty House’, carry the visitor through the fateful plunge and how Holmes manages to survive.”

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The Result

Patrick Ibbotson, corporate and donor relations officer at the Museum of London commented, “Visitor response to the exhibition has been positive and people are responding to the audio-visual exhibits. One visitor has noted that their ‘favourite exhibit’ was the videowall installation, saying that it was ‘innovative, creative and it took my breath away… you genuinely feel as though you are in one of the Holmes stories’. Another visitor tweeted us to say that they ‘could have stayed in the Sherlock Holmes Reichenbach falls installation all day – mesmerising’.“

From the outset, working with the Museum of London has been a complete privilege due to their professionalism at every step,” says Jonathan Cooper, business development manager for NEC Display Solutions. “To be approached to work on an exhibition about such an iconic figure was very exciting and a strong partnership was quickly formed. Our display technology complements the many artefacts showcasing Sherlock Holmes’ character as well as helping to show some of the best loved films and areas of London in which his adventures are set. Fulfilling our role as Technology Partner has indeed been a highlight for NEC this year!

The exhibition opened on 17 October 2014, running until 12 April 2015, tickets are available now from The Museum of London.

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