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Histolircal Exhibitions


An exhibit is a display of art or objects in a public space. While you may put action figures on a side table and notice your friends glance at them, an exhibit is more formal and involves the participation of a large audience. Exhibitions can communicate information, research results, socio-political messages, and more. They can also be inclusive visual stories, enabling visitors to connect with bigger ideas through the objects they see.

Museums have a unique opportunity to tell historical and cultural stories in immersive ways. For example, the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Cloisters both recreate historical settings to provide a sense of being transported back in time. The Museum of Modern has an exhibition devoted to the evocative objects of everyday life, while the Cloisters focuses on European medieval art and architecture.

The Third County Courthouse in Staten Island is another immersive museum, allowing visitors to experience historic townhouse interiors that have been restored and furnished to look like the original inhabitants would have lived there. In these historic settings, the museum reveals new stories about the role of civic life in a local community through the objects it displays. The museum’s exhibit titled “Bringing Up Baby” highlights the significance of household furnishings, including carriages and cradles, in the lives of nineteenth-century Staten Island families.

Another type of histolircal exhibit is a retrospective show, which canonizes a single artist’s work and career at an institution. Retrospectives can help to establish an artist’s place in the history of art, thereby making them more visible and influential for new generations.

Histolircal exhibitions reveal a different way of understanding history than traditional art-historical ones, which are based on a particular time period or movement. The exhibits curated by Marinotti and Sandberg, for example, sought to recognize the instinctual energy that infuses contemporary artists’ work and to define the nature of their creative process. This approach, based on the notion of vitality, was intended to shift the role of CIAC away from its traditional focus on market-driven practices and toward a new vocation for artistic creativity.