How to Write a Museum Exhibit Review
Museums not only keep various artifacts which are typical of a given era or geographical area, but they also present different collections as well as organize cultural and social events. If you have been assigned to write a museum exhibit review, and do not know what exactly how to do, it is better to make some preliminary steps in order to accomplish your task successfully. You probably do not have experience in writing a museum exhibit review, otherwise, you would not have searched for some advice on this issue.
Museum exhibit reviews are focused on the current exhibitions in a certain museum, as it becomes clear from the name of this type of paper. There could be two types of reviews in this sense: permanent exhibit review, and temporary exhibit review. Permanent exhibits are collections which have been there for a long time (for years or even for decades). They are usually most important and are a part of the “image” of the particular museum. On the other hand, temporary exhibits are usually artifacts borrowed from other state or private collections. Such an exhibit could also present items which are only kept in the museum, but for some reason are not accessible to visitors. Thus, the nature of your review depends on the type of exhibit: to write a review of a permanent exhibit is much easier because you can use more sources and read other reviews.
How to write a museum exhibit review – 8 key steps
- The first step you should take is to visit the museum personally. Stay as long as possible. Gather information, take pictures and make notes of the events and things that impress you.
Advice: you can see the exhibition after you have been informed about the particular artifacts. It is good to know what you will be looking at. Another thing is to see the exhibit at least two times; the first time when there are many visitors inside (to see their impressions), and the second time in more quiet atmosphere (to be able to reflect on what you see).
- Let’s now turn to the process of writing the review. Introduce the particular exhibit. Tell the reader how it is named, at which museum it is exhibited, etc. Provide more details: city/town, dates, number of visitors (if there are official statistics), and so forth.
- Tell something about the museum. In order to do this, you need to gather information about the museum. You can obtain it by checking their web site, but it is always recommended to speak personally to someone from the museum (especially people who have worked there for many years).
- Make a preliminary research about the exhibited artifacts. If this is a collection which has been exposed at another museum recently, you can search for some reviews of it. This does not mean, however, that you are allowed to copy the information from them.
- Present the nature of the exhibit - what its aim (is there any occasion to present it?), is it a private or a state collection, who is responsible for its maintenance, etc.
- Present what is so impressing about this exhibit - its positive sides, uniqueness, attractiveness, etc. You should combine your own impressions here with the objective facts. Be careful: always discern your opinion from the facts. The reader should easily recognize when you present your personal point of view.
- What are the most notable and interesting artifacts? What are they famous for? Are there also any other items of significant interest?
- Present some recommendations - what should be done in order the exhibit to be more attractive? Here you can address the following: promotion of the museum and the particular exhibit, selection of the artifacts, arrangement and organization of the exhibit, etc.
To be sure, your review can prove to be useful to someone who will be interested in visiting the museum. Not everyone knows how to write a museum exhibit review but still everyone is able to make a good analysis of the things seen in the museum.
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