Making a Museum Exhibit

Pick a topic that interests and engages you
Your knowledge and enthusiasm will communicate itself to your audience.

Know your audience
Be clear in your mind who you want your exhibit to appeal to. Do all your thinking, planning, writing and designing with your audience in mind.

Understand why your topic matters
So – a few people did things and stuff happened. So what? Know why your topic is important and why it still matters to people today.

Tell a story
Take people on a journey. Create a sense of time and place. Help people make an emotional connection.

Use an object
Objects are a great way to tell a story. Museums use objects to share their stories all the time.

Make your exhibit interesting
Combine stories of interesting people, ideas and materials in unexpected ways.

Make your exhibit interactive
See if there are ways your audience can interact with your exhibit. Can they touch things, turn pages, listen to audio or even smell anything?

Use design to help communicate your message
Think carefully. What colours, typeface and layout will help communicate your message?

Be practical
You will need to package and post your exhibit for judging. Make sure it will fit in a box, and not break in the post! Judges want to see it just as you meant it to look.

The 2016 Winning Museum Exhibit…

Source of content and image: http://www.nma.gov.au/engage-learn/national_history_challenge

Laura Ashby of Sheffield School in Tasmania, won the national prize in the Museum Exhibit category for her representation of the battles of Little Bighorn and Wounded Knee.

Laura’s exhibit was on show at the National Museum during December 2016 and January 2017. Laura’s work reflects a deep and nuanced understanding of the theme of this year’s National History Challenge theme, ‘Triumph or tragedy?’ The judges commented that her creation was ‘original in conception and detailed in its interrogation of sources … an outstanding piece of work.’

A museum display.