BENEFITING: International Spy Museum
In 2015, the International Spy Museum visited Handshouse Studio in Massachusetts to explore the possibilities of a collaboration. Rick and Laura Brown of Handshouse Studio, an educational organization that replicates historic objects as student-driven projects offers unique opportunities. One of the curators, in an inspired moment, leaned in close to Rick and asked, “Have you ever thought of building the Trojan Horse?” And so began the Making/History: The Trojan Horse Project.
The Trojan Horse Project is a perfect learn-by-doing educational journey. This year, Handshouse Studio in partnership with the International Spy Museum began their joint mission of reconstructing the first ever, period-accurate Trojan Horse at full scale. The Museum chose the Trojan Horse to stand as a power symbol of Covert Action, a clandestine operation designed to deceive an adversary. When completed, the horse will be installed at the Museum’s dramatic new building in Washington, DC - opening in 2018. As such, its prominent placement in front of the Museum will serve as a constant reminder to be alert for deception in dealing with our adversaries.
Students at Massachusetts College of Art and Design started a vigorous process of researching the history of the Trojan Horse. They created detailed drawings, scale models and reproduced examples of ancient tools and processes. They have become history detectives: reading Greek literature, looking at centuries of clay, bronze and stone artifacts, researching horse breeds from ancient Turkey, and studying the archaeological ruins and architecture and boat building techniques of the period.
As the project moves forward Handshouse Studio will offer Trojan Horse Travel Programs to Greece and Turkey. Students will visit museums, participate in traditional building techniques and explore the ancient ruins of Troy. Handshouse will reconstruct the Trojan Horse in Greece or Turkey bringing international attention to The Trojan Horse Project and the International Spy Museum. It will bring a contemporary context to the story of the Trojan Horse as an object of deception linked to the ongoing findings at the ancient site of Troy – the detective work of today’s archaeologist. The project will reinforce the Spy Museum’s mission to educate the public about the espionage and intelligence in an engaging way.