The London-based Order of St. John museum is located in the St. John Gate entrance of the English headquarters of the crusading Knights Hospitallers, and has recently added new galleries which have benefited from an AV installation by Electrosonic. The museum traces the Order’s origin in 11th century Jerusalem and its rich history, interwoven with such figures as Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Suleiman the Magnificent, William Shakespeare, William Hogarth and Dr. Samuel Johnson. The museum also brings visitors up to date with the Order’s two leading charities: St. John Ambulance, England’s leading first-aid provider and training organisation, and the St. John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem.
A recent £3.7 million redevelopment showcases the museum’s rich and diverse collections of paintings, furniture, silver, metalwork and armour, ceramics, sculpture, prints, drawings, textiles, jewellery, manuscripts and fine books in an exciting new set of galleries. The museum’s redesign was conceived by Metaphor, managed by Cultural Innovations and built by the main contractor Mivan, who hired Electrosonic for the AV hardware installation.
Electrosonic kept the AV technology as simple as possible to fit the clean, streamlined galleries housed in the ancient structure.
In the “Order” gallery, the story of the Order of the Knights of St. John is told through artifacts and paintings augmented by three short videos displayed on 24-inch Dicoll screens.
The “Link” gallery, partly situated in a formerly open courtyard – now topped with a glass roof – features a timeline exhibit displayed on four NEC 46-inch LCD screens, each devoted to a particular historical era. Three 20-inch Dicoll displays show supporting sequences of still images. A separate 24-inch Dicoll screen gives a virtual tour of other rooms in St. John Gate for those unable to take the guided tour through those areas.
The ‘St. John Ambulance’ gallery documents the modern Order, humanitarian in its aims and purpose. It includes presentations on the first-aid organisation, shown on a landscape-format NEC 46-inch LCD screen, and on the Order’s war-time service, shown on a 20-inch Dicoll display.
Electrosonic opted to locate Roku Brightsign HD210 playback units for each display next to or behind the screens; all devices are on a network to permit overall control and to promote simple operating routines through a Cue Gamma controller and its associated touchscreen.