Manual of Museum Exhibitions, Second Edition, edited by Barry Lord and Maria Piacente – An Impressive Piece of Work.


I’ve been working in the exhibition and environmental branding industry for over 30 years.  Delivering creative projects for the Museum, Corporate, Healthcare, and Higher Education & Athletics markets.  I have acquired a tremendous appreciation for the numerous processes and steps necessary to execute a successful visitor experience or exhibition (physical and virtual) in any three-dimensional space.

If you are involved in planning, developing, designing, producing or fabricating physical and virtual experiences, in any three-dimensional space – story driven, brand driven, cultural or exhibition driven – I would like to share a fabulous resource that was published in 2015.

The “Manual of Museum Exhibitions”, Second Edition, edited by Barry Lord and Maria Piacente is an impressive piece of work.  Although, the Manual is focused on Museum Exhibition, per its title, it is truly a valuable source of proven knowledge that can be applied in the development of a broad range of physical and virtual experiences.

Due to my expertise and experience, I was asked to write and submit a critical review for this newly published Manual for the 2015 OMA Awards of Excellence.

Manual of Museum Exhibitions, Second Edition, Receives the Ontario Museum Association Award of Excellence in Publications

If your profession or business is in the exhibition, environmental, cultural and / or branding story-telling business, I would like to share a few points from my review, and tell you why this Manual should be part of your personal collection of resources:

  • The Manual provides a wealth of tested knowledge that is decisively and carefully expressed, and can be immediately applied.  And, it is not just for museums or museum professionals.  The Manual is a vast contribution of knowledge valuable to a wide range of designers, professionals and /or organizations working in the field or business of planning, designing or producing visitor, corporate and brand experiences – physically and virtually.

  • The Manual thoroughly explores the entire development process.  It is also thoughtfully organized, and allows the reader to digest page by page, step by step, or navigate to areas of key interest by chapter.

  • The quality and delivery of the information is excellent and compelling.  This is largely accomplished from the quality and source of professionals brought together – allowing the reader to obtain knowledge directly from the expert.

  • The Manual has a significant number of visual examples, case studies, images and diagrams that further assist the reader, and help elevate one’s understanding of the subject matter.  The Manual also provides a strong collection of visual tools that can be readily used.

  • In my opinion, the Manual of Museum Exhibitions is a major contribution to the field and subject of developing exhibitions and environments – an exceptional piece of tested and written collaboration of refined knowledge and processes – a Manual that can be continually used, embraced, and processes that can immediately be applied to successfully achieve results.

Wrapping up, I believe the Manual of Museum Exhibitions is an impressive piece of work, dedicated to providing a comprehensive contribution to our profession and the work we do.

In the conclusion of the Manual, this specific and thoughtful statement below, echoed many personal reasons why I do the work I do.  Not just for museums, but, for all the environmental work I have been involved in.

“Making meaning in three-dimensional space is not the sole preserve of the museums – but it is our particular means of expression and should be at the core of our professional competence.”

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