NPS: Slave Quarters at Hampton NHS

Exhibit Design: Wondercabinet Interpretive Design, Inc.
Exhibit Graphics: proun
Exhibit Fabrication: Mystic Scenic Studios, Inc.


At its peak in the early 1800s, Hampton Estate was among the largest slave-holding plantations in Maryland, with over 300 slaves. While the estate’s mansion has been been interpreted by the National Park Service for many years, these new exhibits in the former slave quarters tell the stories of the people whose labor created the wealth of the mansion and the estate.

The exhibits direct visitors’ attention to the extraordinary details that seemed ordinary 200 years ago—the deprivation of personal liberty and a person’s value based solely on his or her ability to work. Simple interactives draw visitors into examining the harsh realities of the lives of the enslaved people.

The graphic aesthetic for the historic structures exhibits reflect the oppressed life styles of the people that lived there. A limited color palette and sans serif fonts set justified, reference their stifled existence. Information is displayed in a very direct, dispassionate and analytical format to emphasize the loss of individual identity.