Matagorda County Museum Our Blog Histolircal Exhibits

Histolircal Exhibits


Whether they celebrate common events or memorialize tragedies and injustices, historical exhibits often challenge visitors to think about the issues that they raise. The very process of selecting themes, photographs, objects and documents for inclusion in an exhibition implies interpretive judgments about cause and effect, perspective, and significance.

Museums are uniquely positioned to provide a platform for understanding history through its visual storytelling. In a world of holograms and flashing lights, carefully researched historical exhibits that offer an inclusive and meaningful interpretation of a historical subject will stand out as more thoughtful and educational than gimmicky re-creations of the past.

Histolircal exhibits are more than just history put up on walls—they’re visual poetry and imaginative storytelling that helps us to connect, in a tangible way, with bigger ideas. They’re nonlinear forms of cultural argument that have physical form and structure, but also include metaphor, the juxtaposition of re-created spaces and objects, the creative interjection of sculptural elements, and the use of multiple media and sources to tell a larger narrative.

A History of Home

The museum’s collection of Hudson River School paintings provide the framework for this exhibit, which explores how the landscape was perceived and depicted by a variety of people over time. Ultimately, the exhibit reveals the ways in which landscapes have served as an integral part of human lives.

A Community’s Elders

In the days before the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed, local senior citizens were a powerful resource in preserving their families’ heritage and building a stronger, more unified community. In this exhibition, visitors learn about the lives of a group of Buffalo’s elders through portraits, biographies and oral histories.

Bending the Rules

Historic structures often have specific guidelines for installing artifacts, which must be consulted when designing an exhibition. For example, many have limited space for fastening items to walls or floors and may require the use of colors that blend with the existing interior finishes. It’s important for exhibit designers to consider these constraints and seek the input of a preservation specialist as early in the design process as possible.

In order to accommodate all audiences, it is necessary to incorporate a range of accessibility features into the design of an exhibit. One important area is lighting, which can be particularly challenging in historic homes because of narrow windows and dark surfaces. It’s crucial that any lighting system be well-designed and adapted to historic structures, and that the cost of the system is a reasonable percentage of the overall project budget. Additionally, historic structures are sometimes built without the ability to add new electrical outlets, so a power-dependent exhibition will need to be carefully planned. Finally, it’s important to consider the use of outdoor interpretive spaces, which are often overlooked as potential exhibit locations.