The new Fort Jefferson Museum is housed in the historic Thompson Fish House in the Key West Bight, departure point for the Dry Tortugas Ferry that serves Fort Jefferson daily.
The centerpiece of the museum is a model of Fort Jefferson built by David Harrison Wright. Two years in the making, historically accurate, and built to HO scale, the model depicts the fort as it was in the 1860s.
We were delighted to be selected to create the backgrounds and interpretive wall exhibits surrounding the model of the fort. We created a total of four panels:
- A chronological history of the bight from its very beginning, with historical photographs selected and interpreted by Norman Aberle, inset in a maritime background. This panel is 7 feet by 35 feet.
- A view of Loggerhead Key as seen from the moat at the fort. There are several historic and recreational-themed insets. This panel measures 7 feet by 50 feet.
- A panel of the marine life found in the waters surrounding the fort, and a panel depicting mangrove ecology. These two panels are 7 feet by 10 feet.
We did all of the photographing, including the large panorama of Loggerhead Key, which necessitated flying a 4×5 camera and accompanying panoramic gear to the fort. Next we created the overall images for each panel in Photoshop. Once the images were created, we split them into 40-inch wide by 7-foot high sections which were then printed on an adhesive-backed fabric material (Phototex). The panels were then installed like wallpaper to form a seamless final image.