SpyCast 6.18.24
Ep 638 | 6.18.24

“The World’s Preeminent Collection of SPY Artifacts” – with Laura Hicken and Lauren VonBechmann

Show Notes


Laura Hicken (LinkedIn) and Lauren vonBechmann (LinkedIn) join Andrew (XLinkedIn) to discuss the collection of the International Spy Museum. SPY’s collection consists of 10,000 espionage-related artifacts. 

What You’ll Learn


  • The ins and outs of getting into the museum field
  • Why Museums?
  • SPYs largest, smallest, and coolest artifacts
  • The challenges of being a “spy” museum


  • Following your passions
  • A dedication to lifelong learning and teaching 

And much, much more …

Episode Notes

This week, Andrew was joined in the studio by two of our SPY family members, Laura Hicken and Lauren vonBechmann. Laura, our Collections Manager and Registrar, and Lauren, the Manager of Exhibitions, are two members of our talented Exhibitions and Collections team here at the International Spy Museum. 

Together with the rest of the team, they are responsible for keeping our priceless 10,000 artifacts safe and sound each day. In addition to this responsibility, the team is tasked with utilizing and interpreting these historical objects in creative exhibitions that help the public better understand the world of intelligence and espionage. Learn how they do it and more about the passion behind their work in this week’s episode!


Laura and Lauren’s most recent project with the Exhibitions team was our first-ever special exhibit, Bond In Motion. It’s only here through April of 2025, so make sure you see their hard work before it leaves! And, if you’ve recently cleaned out your attic and found some funky artifacts, feel free to let Lauren and Laura know what you’ve got through this link

Quotes of the Week

“It's that ability to give accessibility to our audiences so that they can see like parts of history – So it's not only to preserve it, but it's so that people can see it as well. That's what we want to provide – A place for people to see the unseen.” – Lauren vonBechmann.




*Beginner Resources*



  • The Value of Museums: Enhancing Societal Well-Being, J. H. Falk (Rowman & Littlefield, 2021)
  • Creating Exhibitions: Collaboration in the Planning, Development, and Design of Innovative Experiences, P. McKenna-Cress & J. Kamien (Wiley, 2013)
  • Ultimate Spy, H. K. Melton (DK, 2002)




*Wildcard Resource*

  • Here’s something many don’t know about the International Spy Museum: 

On the side of our building, built in 2019, is a secret message written in binary code. Can You Crack the Code?