Museum exhibits play an important role in the transmission of historical knowledge. They often draw a wide range of audiences, including young children, families, and even adults. They may also commemorate events, such as a war or tragedy, and are intended to inspire critical discussion about the content. In the absence of public debate, attempts to suppress exhibits are often counterproductive.
While an exhibition might contain objects and information that may be relevant to today’s society, it should also involve creative visual storytelling. This is different from the standard essay or textbook format. This storytelling creates a sense of drama and allows the story to unfold as an experience. Visual stories also tend to focus on people who were present at the time. While a visual story must be complex and contextualize history, it should be easy enough for visitors to engage with the story.
Historical exhibits have grown in number in recent years. Recent social and economic trends, the increased marketability of local heritage, and national dialogues on identity, have all contributed to the proliferation of these exhibits. However, scholarly research on historical exhibits has concentrated on exhibits at large, professionally run museums. This article explores the differences between corporate and academic historical exhibitions to explore the emergence of the exhibition medium in these different contexts.
The museum also provides a web interface that is interactive. The website, developed in conjunction with Google Arts & Culture, enables users to follow links through time, hopping from a handscroll to a jade plaque, and vice versa. The website also includes audio elements that encourage a self-directed journey through material culture.