Blog

Choosing our exhibtions

By: Michael Harvey , Category: At The Museum, Date: 12 Feb 2010

We've recently had an enquiry about how we go about choosing the temporary exhibitions that we show here. As you can imagine, there are lots of factors take into consideration when selecting them. Here are a few of them.

What are the factors we think about when choosing an exhibition?

Our visitors’ interests: We regularly survey our visitors, both to get feedback on our existing exhibitions and to find out what they would like to see. You can add your own thoughts to our website either here or at the Visitor Voices blog. The Audience Research blog records the findings of our research on all aspects of our relationship with our visitors.

Things we care about: Our purpose is to inspire our visitors to explore nature and cultures and, as an organisation, we aspire to being part of a beautiful and sustainable natural world, with vibrant and diverse cultures. Our recent Season of Climate Change, including the Climate Change exhibition, and Menagerie - Contemporary Indigenous Sculpture are good examples.

Outside events: So this year we are celebrating the International Year of Biodiversity because, as a Museum with a great strength in natural history research and collections, much of our work is about understanding and protecting out biodiversity. Rather than build a single large exhibition, we are approaching this topic as a series of connected events and displays throughout the year.

Opportunities for collaboration with other museums: Sometimes we work with museums from overseas to bring an exhibition to Australia as part of a tour - thisoften gives us a change to display objects and to tell stories that are not often seen in Australia. Last year, for example, we borrowed a fine Egyptian Collection from the Kunsthistoriches Museum in Vienna. We are especially keen on these opportunities when they line up with our interests in world cultures, or amazing nature.

Of course we are very happy to consider ideas for exhibitions from any quarter, so feel free to let us know what you think we should be planning... 
 

1 comment

Lynda Kelly - 4.02 PM, 12 February 2010

Nice post Michael. We've been testing topics for many years now and it's away fascinating to see what captures the public's attention. Overall we've found that when selecting future exhibition themes we need to keep in mind that in order to be enthusiastic and motivated to attend, visitors need to have some knowledge of, or connections with, the topic without feeling they already know all there is to know. As well, they need to feel that the Museum will be able to provide them with experiences and  learning not available elsewhere. Australian themes that are relevant to their lives are popular.

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