How do museums create exhibitions about histories? What happens behind the scenes? And what really is the role of an exhibition as a form of history ‘made public’?
Making history exhibitions can be a complex task: agreeing on topics, gathering resources, selecting stories and themes, using collections and even leaving space for change. Stakeholders are many and varied; opinions strong but disparate; and spaces, schedules and resources are always challenging.
Drawing on recent exhibitions from Museums Victoria as well as international examples, this seminar will explore some of the approaches, drivers, processes and ongoing conversations behind making history exhibitions, where various tensions raise interesting questions for us to consider: whose histories are we telling; and how; and to whom?
Deborah Tout-Smith is Senior Curator, Home & Community, in the History & Technology Department of Museums Victoria. She curates Museums Victoria’s Home & Community and Military History collections, and co-curates its Clothing & Textiles and Childhood collections. She has curated major exhibitions including World War I: Love & Sorrow (2014) and co-curated The Melbourne Story (2008) with Liza Dale. Deborah is an Executive Board member of the International Council of Museums; Board Member of the History Council of Victoria; and Advisory Board Member at the Australian Centre for Architectural History, Urban and Cultural Heritage at the University of Melbourne.
Tracey Taylor is an Exhibition Producer at Museums Victoria. She has previously worked on the development of numerous exhibitions for major museums and heritage institutions around the world, including for the Design Museum, the Museum of London, National Museums Northern Ireland and Battersea Power Station. Tracey has also lectured in narrative-led exhibition and experience design at the University of the Arts London.
This event will be chaired by Margaret Anderson, Director of Old Treasury Building and Board Member of the History Council of Victoria.
The seminar is part of an ongoing series, Making Public Histories, that is offered jointly by the Monash University History Program, the History Council of Victoria and the Old Treasury Building.