Exhibitions are a great way to share information about the past, especially when they’re designed to be educational and interactive. The best ones are the most creative, bringing together artifacts, photographs, graphics, and re-created spaces in a way that stimulates our imagination and enables us to think about the past in new ways.
Museums rely on exhibits to communicate their messages, so it’s essential that these enticing displays are both visually appealing and informative. When creating an exhibit, museums must consider three primary elements: what’s in the display, how the display is displayed, and how it relates to history and culture.
The most interesting historical exhibits are those that use the medium of storytelling to engage visitors. This is especially true of large-scale historical exhibits that feature complex narratives and a wide array of multimedia.
For instance, the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago has a very clever way of explaining how the world works with a “Science Show.” This interactive gallery features video displays, virtual reality experiences, and interactive games that educate the public about scientific discoveries and processes.
A similar experience is found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, where its Cloisters feature an immersive European medieval experience. The Met Cloisters are filled with medieval architecture and art, and their exhibits focus on the Roman and Gothic periods of the Middle Ages.
Another example of a creative exhibition is the Museum of the City of New York’s upcoming exhibit, The Story of the Apple Peeler. This re-creation of a historic apple peeler, which used to be part of the popular Lower East Side eatery Russ & Daughters, will help the museum tell its stories about density and innovation.
The museum also has a number of other memorable experiences, including one that explores the complexities of immigration through the lens of a pig. This interactive exhibition will take a look at how immigrants, and the immigration policies that shaped their lives, helped shape the development of New York City.
Aside from the above, many museums offer engaging and informative displays that help tell the story of their cities and communities. These include museums that focus on local history, such as the Tenement Museum in New York City, the Merchant’s House Museum in Buffalo, and the African American Museum of History and Art in Atlanta; museums that focus on national or international history, such as the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and the Smithsonian’s Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.; and even museums that do more than just display artifacts, such as the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.