I am still working hard on my project in Ludlow: choosing themes and objects for the cases in Shrewsbury’s new museum. We still have to hear from the funding people with regard to how much we have to spend; this will determine whether we will actually use the old Kensington cases or be forced to utilise newer, less idiosyncratic cases.
Either way, I am trying to distil the ideas mentioned previously into a more streamlined and elegant plan. I met with my mentor, Henry McGhie, who has a lot of experience in designing and executing exhibition spaces. He was great and was able to enlighten me as to how I should be thinking. Not what I should be thinking; ways to guide my thoughts and give my relatively vague/flexible brief some structure.
Two of the main pieces of advice Henry gave me were to:
- Use the “Code of Ethics for Museums” (CoEfM) as a way to make sure the ideas I have are in line with the industry standard; and
- Use Generic Learning Outcomes (GLOs) to identify what I want to achieve with the exhibition and give those aims a direction.
By using these two resources it was easier for me to translate my lofty ideas into grounded, achievable goals, such as:
- Improve the quality of the experience;
- Recognise interests of people who made, used, owned, collected or gave items in the collections; and
- Improve public understanding, awareness and appreciation.
- Learning facts or information;
- Making sense of something;
- Making links and relationships between things;
- How museums operate;
- Innovative thoughts; and
The GLOs are generally more pertinent to what I’m doing and help establish the foundations of my basic aims for visitors:
- What: See a cross-section of unusual/interesting Victorian natural history collections.
- Why/How: Understand and appreciate the attitudes of the period and how these shaped the reasoning for and process of Victorian collecting.
- Who/Where: Become aware of the role Shropshire played, highlighting important people and places in the county.
- Connections: Get a sense of how the above areas are tightly interwoven with the Victorian Zeitgeist, as well as the negative repercussions of some of them.
Here are a few more images of the material that I am considering. I took most of them with my phone, so apologies for the poor quality.