MUSEUM ON THE MOVE

Museum on the Move is a student-driven, Public History project wrapped within an exhibit and design class. Students research historical content and then formulate a plan into building an exhibit based on the latest museum and exhibit-building techniques. In designing these new exhibits, the students gain hands on experience in curatorial issues and exhibition. They are able to gauge out what interests them in the different areas of museum and exhibit work. From the many challenges of research, to label writing, to picking out colors, finding objects, creating visuals, the installation and social media outreach, students have their hands full in completing everything by the semester’s end. And the biggest challenge of all is displaying it within a vintage Airstream trailer! 

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The Museum on the Move is a mobile exhibit that travels around the state of Louisiana. It’s exhibits so far have focused on Louisiana history in order to educate the general public on subjects they know of but not enough of about. We have done Women in Louisiana (Crossing the Line: Louisiana Women in a Century of Change), the Oil Industry in Louisiana (Drill Baby Drill) and currently traditions of Mardi Gras (Unmasking Traditions: Mardi Gras in Louisiana). The exhibits so far have gone to farmer markets, public libraries, schools and festivals within the state. Feedback has been positive and visitors have enjoyed these insights to the state’s history. 

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The Process

Over winter or summer break before the class opens, the students or professors are tasked with deciding on the subject for the exhibit. Once the class has started, the topic is narrowed down and groups are made with the instructions of who researches what. Second groups are then made on the tasks they shall be doing in regards to the creation and installation of the exhibit. All the while, consulting textbooks of exhibit design, labels, and curation, the students are preparing for the next steps. The teams for picking the colors and overall design, an interpretation for the labels, a social media in spreading the upcoming exhibit, and installation begin working. Of course not always do the students have to stick with their second groupings as this helps with everyone being able to dabble in each area. 

Results 

Students and the internet audiences can gain an understanding to the work put into creating an exhibit. It’s not just writing something and sticking up it up on a wall or in a case. There’s the aspect of research, funding, the interlocking parts of designing, how to correctly display objects, the tone used and word count of labels, and the man power of installing. Museum on the Move is an excellent way to allow students to experience the wonders and woes of exhibit design! 

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Museum on the Move wants to visit You!

Our mobile museum, currently exhibiting the history of Mardi Gras, looks forward to traveling to your home town, festival, park etc. Contact Tori or Rachel for more info (rachel.blomquist1@louisiana.edu)

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