I recently visited a museum to see the Princess Diana exhibition.  This was a remarkable exhibit which showcased her wedding gown, home movies, designer dresses, heirloom jewels and a host of photos from her life.  These were the original items, not replicas, on loan from the Althorp Estate for a final worldwide tour.  I was one of the one billion television viewers who watched her wedding in 1981, and it was a thrill to see her gown and be up close to its 25 foot train.  

I live an hour away from this museum and had never heard of it, so as I took in the historical significance of what I was seeing, I began to wonder how on earth this relatively small museum in Davenport, IA had acquired the rights to host this international exhibit.  This seemed like something that would be featured in Chicago or a major city instead.

As it turned out, the exhibition company actually came to the Putnam and asked them if they would be willing to host it.  They were looking for a location that was central to all of the major Midwest population spots to make it accessible to as many people as possible on one of its final stops.  Davenport is drivable from Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Omaha and Kansas City so the curators approached the museum to make it happen.

They had the prestige from Diana’s name and the exhibit itself; what they needed was access.  It is another example of how first knowing what you value impacts what you are seeking.  

— beth triplett

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