Effective Exhibit Strategies to Represent Contemporary Cultures
Museums, as high profile institutions, are vehicles for change. They are distinctly situated to exhibit important subject matter to an extensive audience. With cross-cultural misunderstanding constantly reemerging, museum exhibits offer a platform to create clearer understandings between cultural groups. The research question I examine is: What strategies are museums using to design and implement exhibits on contemporary cultures? While examining self-identified communities representation strategies central concerns of the study are the objects and the narratives used in the exhibit, how they are displayed, and how they utilize the physical and theoretical space of the museum. As museums and native groups recognize the benefits of collaboration, the two groups can become more conscious of various means of representation, collection care, power dynamics and a multitude of other concerns surrounding their partnerships. This study focuses on exhibits specifically in cultural museums, community centers and native museums, with five California exhibits to exemplify my findings.