Exhibit Creation

Date: 12/18/2020
Contact: James Vannurden |

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 helpful.

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.