CMH Home
CMH Home
CMH News and Features
U.S. Army Center of Military History

Arlington Cemetery Welcome Center
A Work in Progress

The new Arlington National Cemetery Welcome Center exhibits opened on 18 January 2013. The images below document the installation process during the previous two weeks. Installation, however, was but the culmination of a long process.

CMH's chief of museum programs developed a storyline and wrote and exhibit script that was vetted internally by Histories Division and externally by ANC staff, ANC's Advisory Council, and National Park Service Staff. CMH's designer provided a contemporary-looking exhibit to counterbalance the austere classicism of the Welcome Center building. She included a wide range of exhibit techniques including etching text and images directly on glass, an exacting process that required multiple design drawings for each layer - background graphics, text, and foreground photographs, maps, and drawings.

CMH's exhibit manager prepared all the contract documents for the project, allowing it to be bid, and modified as needed during the process. He made performance inspections to contractor and sub-contractor worksites and, along with the designer, served as CMH liaison to the fabrication and installation contractor.

It take a team like no other ...

Contractors from Capital Exhibit Services, Inc., unload nineteen super-size color graphics to be hung on the perimeter walls of the Arlington National Cemetery Visitor Center.

CMH designer Roxann Showers (center) works with contractors to ensure that her vision for the exhibit is achieved.

Artifacts are installed only at the end of the exhibit process, when the Welcome Center is a clean space.

Sub-contractors from Lintec Film applied text printed on film to the interpretive panels.

The three major themes of the Welcome Center are HONOR, REMEMBER, EXPLORE.

Contractors apply a photo mural of a member of the Old Guard, which maintains a 24/7 watch at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Lead installer Brent Orton lays out "stand-off" graphics to be mounted to the glass panels.

Among the artifacts on display is the bugle used at the burial ceremony for President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

For the first time in one if its designs, the U.S. Army Center of Military History included glass panels with text and images etched directly into the glass.

The "Becoming the Nation's Cemetery" section takes shape. It documents the emergence of Arlington as the preeminent place for honoring the nation's military heroes.

Robert Dalessandro (left), chief of military history and director of the U.S. Army Center of Military History, makes a final review of a text panel before it is mounted on the wall.