New ICMM initiative off to a good start
On the 7-8 March 2013 the first workshop organised by a new ICMM network on exhibitions was held at the Maritime Museum & Aquarium in Gothenburg, Sweden. Fifty participants from twenty maritime museums in eight countries in Northern Europe gathered for two intense days to share experiences in workshops, case studies and talks. The workshop was judged to be a good start for this ICMM initiative.
ICMM North European Network on Exhibitions – First Workshop Report
On the 7th and 8th March 2013 some fifty people gathered at the Maritime Museum & Aquarium, in Gothenburg, Sweden. The occasion was the start of a brand new network about exhibitions in maritime museums. The participants were staff from museums in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
The idea of regional – in this case North European – networks is new to ICMM, but the meeting in Gothenburg proved it to be a good idea. Few of the participants knew each other beforehand but you would not have thought so judging by the chatter within the group minutes after the start.
ICMM’s President, Frits Loomeijer, opened the workshop by explaining the ideas behind the network and by posing a set of provocative questions to start discussion. He was followed by nine talks, each of ten minutes, presenting recently opened exhibitions. Each had a special focus; for example, the approach of the exhibition, its creation, or its target groups.
The first day ended with a presentation by the host museum of the transformation process carried out in the museum during recent years. The next day began with a presentation of a newly opened floor in the museum.
Three parallel workshops followed; developing exhibition exchanges, developing permanent displays, and using focus and reference groups in exhibition projects. The meeting ended with lunch on Day 2.
The motto of the network is ‘keep it simple’, and the network concept is that staff at maritime museums should have the opportunity to visit new maritime exhibitions and to meet colleagues, to discuss ideas, challenges and current projects. By keeping the meetings short it is possible to attend even if delegates are busy and time is limited. On the other hand, short meetings enable delegates to combine the workshop with visits to other museums in the neighbourhood, or to hold meetings with co-operation partners.
The organisers of the workshop would like to thank everybody who took part and thus contributed to a successful start of the network. An evaluation will now take place among the participants and a report on the workshop will be prepared for the ICMM Executive Council.
There is little doubt that the report will end up by recommending another workshop next year.
Maria Dalhed, Vasa Museum, Stockholm
Mette Guldberg, Fisheries and Maritime Museum, Esbjerg
Britta Söderqvist, Maritime Museum & Aquarium, Gothenburg