Katia Johansen
Royal Danish Collections


Checklist for planning: Define the exhibition

Begin by defining the exhibition’s type, content, duration, budget, financing, who is in charge, the exhibition’s goals and purpose. Exhibitions should always be concluded with an evaluation meeting, and the comments and results added to the institution’s White Book for planning. If you don’t already have a ‘White Book’ for planning an exhibition, start one now. It will include your institution’s cumulative experience in describing and planning the exhibition’s type, content, duration, budget, financing, goals and purpose, and who is in charge of what.


  • Prepare yourself and your staff
  • Prepare the costume
  • Prepare the exhibition space
  • Prepare the museum
  • Prepare the public
  • Links to further information




Preparing yourself and your staff


  • ensure adequate training and practice
  • ensure adequate time and space to work
  • have the necessary materials, equipment, consultants, technical staff
  • ensure access to reference material
  • prepare a thorough description of tasks, when they are due, and who is responsible
  • have regular, increasingly frequent meetings with everyone involved



Preparing costume for exhibition




Preparing the space for exhibition 


  • build or adapt glass cases
  • design a suitable traffic plan
  • choose lighting
  • ensure climate
  • write labels and choose how to mount them
  • decide how to present information in more than one language if required
  • transportation between storage, workshop and exhibition space 
  • plan already beforehand how and when to dismantle



Preparing the museum


  • security
  • PR - who writes press releases and handles the press; advertising
  • disaster planning
  • storage
  • what precedes and follows this exhibition
  • approved procedure for loans, couriers, insurance
  • staff health and safety
  • merchandise, posters, cards
  • catalog printing
  • cleaning and upkeep of exhibition




Preparing the public


  • decide who writes and approves PR material
  • write introduction, explanations, welcome texts for exhibition
  • plan extra activities, guided tours, train guides
  • consider activities for children and groups
  • choose advertising strategy and budget



Links to further information


Caring for Clothing and Textiles, Tepapa Museum, New Zealand, 2009


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