Baby curator’s first exhibit.

Archaeology & History, Museums

This week I installed my first exhibition for the Leatherhead Museum of Local History, where I volunteer as curator*.
During the construction process I felt more like I was back in school making a poster presentation, but now that it’s installed I do like the look of it! Although I continue to fantasise about what it would be like to have the budget for professional printing and acquiring more artefacts.
As it was I relied on the guidance of this very useful book, lent to me by my senior co-curator, and did the best I could:

Exhibit Makeovers: A Do-It-Yourself Workbook for Small Museums by Alice Parman & Jeffrey Jane Flowers

Exhibit Makeovers: A Do-It-Yourself Workbook for Small Museums by Alice Parman & Jeffrey Jane Flowers

Since I constantly have so many opinions about museum exhibits, it seems only fair – and useful to me anyway – to reflect on how this one went.
Mainly, it ended up more text-heavy than I think is ideal. That’s a result of the nature of the topic, though: it’s not based on anything in our collection, rather on a person connected to the man who’s officially reopening our museum next weekend. Even so I probably could have organised it differently to make it less text-heavy, perhaps focus on themes rather than chronology, as I did in this case:
If only I had room for both!

Apart from that I’m pretty happy with it. I’m looking forward to working more with the collection and presenting narratives with objects rather than so much text. Our next project is World War I commemoration, of course, which we have a nice bit of material for.

When we were setting up we also got another case ready, which I think will turn out really good. It has some examples of how we research items in the collection.
The museum opens officially on Saturday the 5th, so if you’re in the area come over and have a look, & tell me what you think.

*Naturally everything I write here is my own opinion and doesn’t represent the museum’s in any way.