Whether creating a large, permanent
exhibit or a small, temporary area, exhibit creation is very important to
museums. You need to keep in mind what
your museum needs based on what you have.
Your space constraints also dictate your creation. Steps include idea phase, research, item
collection, creating text, and installation.
During the idea phase, you create the
topic of your exhibit. It is ideal to
come up with an idea that is not currently expressed elsewhere. However, you can extrapolate on a current
idea that is just briefly mentioned.
Proper research is necessary to
highlight your idea. Gather as much
information as possible, and then you can cut down excess later. Being over prepared in research is always
Since you can only highlight what you
have, ideas and research are very important prior to this step of collecting
items. Try to display a variety of items
and formats centered around your idea.
This variety catches multiple eyes differently. For example, when collecting items for our
Cowtown anniversary display, the curatorial staff made sure it select items
that highlighted multiple aspects of the museum from girl scout uniforms and
restaurant menu, to movies and old gift shop items.
When creating text make sure to have accurate
information as well as interesting facts.
Make sure the detail is there but not overwhelming; hit the main point
and then move on. Too much wording can
overpower your audience and make them disinterested.
Finally, the direct installation of the
exhibit has many items to consider. What
goes best with what? What should I
highlight and what should I put in the background? Lighting is important. Do your best to display these items cleanly
and in an organized fashion.