Online Museum Classes
Nearly every museum develops exhibits, but how can we improve communication with visitors while taking care of our objects? Exhibit Fundamentals explores exhibits from idea to final installation in a variety of settings. Topics include exhibit theory, the role of the museum's mission, creating a timeline, accessibility and script writing. Also covered are design elements, installation techniques, object safety and security, visitor safety and evaluations. Each student develops an exhibit plan for his or her museum.
1. Introduction: Exhibition Theory and the Museums Mission
2. Intellectual and Physical Accessibility & Exhibition Evaluations
3. Creating a Timeline and Writing Texts
4. The Role of Design Elements and Basic Installation Techniques
5. Object and Visitor Safety
Participants in Exhibit Fundamentals work at their own pace through six sections and interact through online chats. Instructor Lin Nelson-Mayson is available at scheduled times during the course for email support. Exhibit Fundamentals includes online literature, slide lectures and student-teacher/group-teacher dialog. The course is limited to 20 participants.
Required texts are:
(1) Lord, Barry and Gail Dexter. The Manual of Museum Exhibits. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press (A Division of Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc), 2002.
(2) Serrell, Beverly. Exhibit Labels: An Interpretive Approach. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 1996.
(Both are good resources; if you don't have them in your library, they can be ordered on line from Alta Mira at http://www.altamirapress.com/)
Exhibit Fundamentals runs six weeks. To reserve a spot in the course, please pay at http://www.collectioncare.org/tas/tas.html If you have trouble please contact Helen Alten at firstname.lastname@example.org
Student Comments for MS106 Exhibit Fundamentals: Ideas to Installation:
"The lectures were clearly written and understandable, and the readings (Lord & Lord, Serrell) were surprisingly readable! The Powerpoints provided a great summary for each section … I enjoyed the course thoroughly and have gained some valuable (and somewhat sobering) insight. "
"Great teacher, Great technology, Great peers/other students! Enjoyable reading. Very helpful for now and in the future. Great reading. Great Text.
A++ and THANK YOU!!!"
"I liked having the content presented multiple ways. I read the lectures, viewed the Powerpoint slides, and completed the readings. With each presentation of the materials I found I learned more."
"The content could be adapted to a project we are working on … Rather than spending time planning and working on an exhibit I would never complete in my facility, I could instead focus on a dream (a big dream) of an exhibit and actually apply what I was learning to something that I will use in my museum.
The technology was quite easy to work with. I didn't need help with the technology, but support seemed readily available."
"I enjoyed hearing about plans, experiences and challenges from professionals at other museums, and getting their feedback - it was nice to have a 'virtual community' of people working on similar things."
"The readings/assignments made me think about my exhibit in ways I hadn't. Made me realize that there were more things to keep in mind than I realized.
I'll be on the lookout for future courses offered by NSCC. I feel like I really got my money's worth from it."
Lin Nelson-Mayson, with over 25 years of museum experience at small and large institutions, is director of the University of Minnesota's Goldstein Museum of Design. Prior to that, she was the director of ExhibitsUSA, a nonprofit exhibition touring organization that annually tours over 30 art and humanities exhibitions across the country. For five years, she was a coordinator or judge for the American Association of Museums' Excellence in Exhibitions Competition. She currently serves on the exhibition committee for the National Sculpture Society. Ms. Nelson-Mayson has extensive experience with the planning, preparation, research and installation of exhibitions. Ms Nelson-Mayson's experience includes teaching museum studies and museology courses. Her particular interest is the needs of small museums.
Her credentials include the following;
- An MFA from The Ohio State University in sculpture and critical writing
- A BFA from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in painting.
- Work as a curator for the Ross County Historic Society (Chillicothe, Ohio), the Art Museum of South Texas (Corpus Christi), the Columbia Museum of Art (South Carolina), and the Minnesota Museum of American Art.