In the 21st century, museum exhibit spaces that may have “just” been renovated a mere 10 years ago can suddenly feel old and tired.
But, how do you combat a 21st century problem when all you’ve got to work with is a 19th century budget?
Below are a few simple actions you can take to re-energize your space (or at the very least, your mindset while you raise the funds to make your new vision a reality).
- De-clutter. As museum professionals, we walk past exhibit areas every day that are bursting at the seams with “stuff’.” The problem is, too much stuff can make a space feel tired. Space and storage are always an issue, and sometimes a “temporary” placement of a sign, a display, or a piece of furniture inadvertently becomes permanent. Multiple those temporary placements over the years and you can see what happens.
- Cull & clarify. Look at what you’ve got and decide how important each piece is to the exhibit. Do you really need to have it ALL there? Sometimes removing superfluous items helps the stars of the exhibits shine a little bit brighter. (In other words, less is more)
- General maintenance. This is no-brainer, but it bears repeating: Dust, burned out light bulbs, or broken fixtures can make newer spaces feel worn down. If the electronic components of a display are not working, take them out; don’t rely on an out-of-service sign. Those signs tend to linger. If you can’t fix it, move it out.
- A fresh coat of paint. A fresh coast of paint is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to make your spaces feel young again. It’s relatively easy, inexpensive, and something volunteers can do in very little time.
Not sure where to begin and feeling the sting of limited resources? An ally, a solid design & implementation plan, and the tools to raise those funds may be just what you need.
Contact AST Exhibits if you are ready to freshen and revitalize your display spaces. It’s one of the things we love to do for our museum partners.