Exhibitions Management


Units: 6


This course focuses on the elements of exhibition management and introduces students to the process of developing, designing, and implementing exhibitions. This includes the roles and responsibilities of staff and community members in exhibitions, the development of an exhibition brief, ways to measure success, thematic development and interpretation, exhibition design, financial planning, and implementation logistics. Special topics will cover storytelling techniques, signage and labels, lighting, multimedia, and handling controversial artwork. Assessments throughout the course intend to build upon one another, ultimately helping students to present an overall exhibition plan to their classmates as if they are presenting to a group of trustees. All students, but especially those that do not possess a visual arts background, may wish to examine issues present in contemporary aesthetics through readings (books, periodicals and web) and by asking questions in class. 

Learning Outcomes:

Skills and knowledge gained through this course will be assessed through readings, class participation, and assignments. Upon the successful conclusion of the course, students will be able to:

  1. Understand and apply the exhibition development, design, and implementation process to museum exhibitions
  2. Describe the organizational structure and staffing roles in exhibition management
  3. Analyze an exhibition from a visitors’ perspective and identify ways in which it is successful and ways in which it might be improved
  4. Develop and hone an exhibition concept (“the big idea”) to support the mission/purpose of an institution and the interests of its visitors
  5. Compose an exhibition brief and define measures of success for the summative evaluation phase of an exhibition
  6. Design a basic interpretation plan that engages visitors by utilizing storytelling strategies and other techniques
  7. Create an exhibition concept design utilizing visualization tools
  8. Explore how lighting, multimedia and other tools communicate the storyline of an exhibition to its visitors
  9. Construct a budget and project management plan for an exhibition
  10. Understand installation requirements and logistics to present and protect artwork and objects in an exhibition
  11. Prepare and present an exhibition plan to a room of “trustees”