“A museum is a place where one should lose one’s head.”

I hope some people do. Not literally, of course. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been mocking up the display cases which will be a permanent part of the new Shrewsbury museum currently being built and renovated. It is the first time that I have had to populate such large cases and it has been a learning curve.

I had chosen my themes and aims (reminder: here), as well as a thorough selection of objects. It was only when I finally got around to putting the objects together in a space with the same dimensions of the cases that I realised how difficult it was. My cases will have three sides visible, which means the display will need to look good from three aspects whilst hopefully not obscuring anything as a result. I started by simply grabbing a few random objects and putting them together. After a while, I got an idea for what worked well and which objects should be near to or far away from each other. It was also clear that I had chosen too few objects. The cases were large and high and I needed more specimens if I wanted to achieve a Victorian-esque stuffed cabinet of curiosities (or a Wunderkammer).

It took me over a day to have a good play around with everything and get more things out and introduce them into the cases. There was a lot of swapping about and moving things all over the place, but eventually I managed to come up with two cases that I was happy with.

I am pleased to say that when the team in Shrewsbury saw them, I was complimented on my aproach. They need to be tweaked here and there which I shall get around to once I’m back after the holiday period. They are not full enough, either. I have a meeting with the museum designer in a week or two to discuss what I’ve done so far and where the designer wants to go from here. It’s very exciting that it’s going well and that I’ll be able to see the fruits of my labour in a permanent display soon. Here are some of the images; I am interested to hear your feedback.

Any thoughts?

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