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Judgements

 

Bells Falls Gorge - an interactive investigation

Judgements

Criteria for judging a museum display

The objects displayed
  • Are they authentic to the story?
  • Why have those ones and not some alternatives been chosen?
Captions and explanations
  • Are they accurate?
  • Do they explain clearly what is on display?
  • Are they 'slanted' in anyway?
  • Do the captions refer to any problems or controversies with the display? For example, critics say this display raises serious issues about oral history: Is the viewer alerted to this in any way? It also raises issues about official evidence - its absence, the potential bias and self-interest of the government authors of it. Is the viewer alerted to take account of this in her or his response to the display?
The physical context and 'ambience'
  • Does the setting influence a viewer's reactions?
  • Do the surrounding displays set a tone that shapes the way displays are viewed? (For example, the presence in the next cabinet of a powerful modern piece of art of Aboriginal people being hanged, and the mournful sounds of a cello as the dominant sound in the display area.)
Design elements of the display
  • Are some elements given special prominence, and therefore significance, so as to influence the viewer's response to the display?
Design philosophy
  • Are people not alerted to such issues for people to see and discuss because it is assumed that viewers will realise that they exist anyway? Or are they hidden and not meant to be seen, but to be accepted as part of a narrative, a story that it wants you to come away with?
Overall impression
  • Does the exhibition inform accurately, or just create an impression?