1st Edition

Exhibitions as Research Experimental Methods in Museums

Edited By Peter Bjerregaard Copyright 2020
    210 Pages
    by Routledge

    210 Pages 52 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Exhibitions as Research contends that museums would be more attractive to both researchers and audiences if we consider exhibitions as knowledge-in-the-making rather than platforms for disseminating already-established insights. Analysing the theoretical underpinnings and practical challenges of such an approach, the book questions whether it is possible to exhibit knowledge that is still in the making, whilst also considering which concepts of "knowledge" apply to such a format. The book also considers what the role of audience might be if research is extended into the exhibition itself.

    Providing concrete case studies of projects where museum professionals have approached exhibition making as a knowledge-generating process, the book considers tools of application and the challenges that might emerge from pursuing such an approach. Theoretically, the volume analyses the emergence of exhibitions as research as part of recent developments within materiality theories, object-oriented ontology and participatory approaches to exhibition-making.

    Exhibitions as Research will be of interest to academics and students engaged in the study of museology, material culture, anthropology and archaeology. It will also appeal to museum professionals with an interest in current trends in exhibition-making.

    Introduction: Exhibitions as research - Peter Bjerregaard

    Part I Cross-disciplinary collaboration 

    Chapter 1 Sketches for a methodology on exhibition research - Henrik Treimo

    Chapter 2 Joining transdisciplinary forces to revive the past: Establishing a Viking Garden at the Natural History Museum, Oslo - Anneleen Kool and Axel Dalberg Poulsen

    Chapter 3 Ethnography, exhibition practices and undiscipined encounters: The generative work of amulets in London - Nathalia Brichet and Frida Hastrup

    Part II Sensing knowledge

    Chapter 4 Exhibitions as philosophical carpentry: On object-oriented exhibitio- making - Adam Bencard

    Chapter 5 Museum objects in the marketplace - Kari K. Aarrestad

    Chapter 6 Exhibition-making as aesthetic enquiry - Peter Bjerregaard

    Chapter 7 Object-spaces? Sensory engagements and museum experiments - Elizabeth Hallam

    Part III Collaborating with audiences

    Chapter 8 Exhibitions, engagement and provocation: From Future Animals to Guerilla Archaeology - Jacqui Mulville

    Chapter 9 Developing and promoting research in a museum thirdspace: Breaking barriers where people walk - Ellen T. Bøe, Hege I. Hollund, Grete Lillehammer, Bente Ruud, Paula U. Sandvik

    Chapter 10 Visitor dialogue and participation as knowledge generating practices in exhibition work: What can museum experts learn from it? - Guro Jørgensen

    Chapter 11 How the exhibition became co-produced: Attunement and participatory ontologies for museums - Helen Graham


    Peter Bjerregaard holds a PhD in anthropology and works as program manager at Danish Museum for Science and Technology. Until recently he was senior adviser of exhibitions at Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo. His recent interest has been on exhibitions as a particular mode of research and in developing experimental approaches to exhibition-making that allow research to materialize in non-textual forms. He has been project leader and curator for a number of exhibitions, among them COLLAPSE – human being in an unpredictable world and Letting go. Together with Anders Emil Rasmussen and Tim Flohr Sørensen, he edited Materalities of Passing: Explorations in Transformation, Transition and Transience (2016).