Small Museum Pro! Developing Exhibitions

This class is about how to put together an exhibition, from deciding what it will be about and why, to gatSmall Museum Prohering, creating and arranging all the elements for visitors.  You’ll learn a lot from your classmates – from their own experiences and from the resources that they share with all of us.  And you’ll learn the best way: by doing – you will develop an actual exhibit over the course of the class.

Each week you will be expected to:

  1. study materials directly within the online class site;
  2. find other resources on the web or in the community and share them with the class;
  3. share your own knowledge, experience and resources with the class; and
  4. complete one or more exhibit-development assignments and share your work with the class.


During most weeks, you will read from the required text, Exhibit Makeovers, A Do-It-Yourself Workbook for Small Museums (Second Edition, Altamira Press, 2017) ($38).


At the end of the class, you will:

  • know how to develop, create and evaluate an exhibition – you will have developed a real exhibit;
  • be familiar with other resources for more information; and
  • have a network of NM small-museum professionals with whom to confer on future exhibits.

Who should attend:

This course is a beginning level course designed for professional staff and volunteers of historical organizations and libraries who have little to no experience with exhibit development and design.
Small Museum Pro:
Successful completion of this course will earn one credit toward the Small Museum Pro certificate from AASLH.


About the Instructors:

Alice Parman has spent a lifetime in museum. After earning a Ph.D. in Education (University of Chicago), Alice joined the education staff at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. There she worked to help teachers use the museum’s resources more effectively, then chaired the Department of Education from 1973–1978 (as the Field’s first woman manager). From 1978–1982 she was director of the University of Oregon Museum of Natural History; from 1982–1988 she served as director of WISTEC (now The Science Factory), also in Eugene. In 1989, Alice joined Formations Inc., a Portland-based exhibit design/build firm with a national clientele. After 14 years as Senior Planner/Writer for Formations, she launched her own consulting business in September 2003. She is co-author, with Jeffrey Jane Flowers, of Exhibit Makeovers: A Do-It-Yourself Workbook for Small Museums (AltaMira Press, 2008).

Ann Craig (BA, History and Asian Studies, 2000, University of Oregon; MA, Arts Management, Museum Studies, 2006, University of Oregon) is the Director of Public Programs at The Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the University of Oregon. Ann has been with the museum since 2005, where she oversees educational programming and exhibitions for all audiences. She is a board member with the Oregon Museum Association, chair of the Museums of Springfield and Eugene (MUSE) and a member of the Lane County Cultural Coalition.