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Examining the 'flexible museum': exhibition process, a project-approach, and the creative element

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Publication details

JournalMuseum and Society
DatePublished - Jun 2013
Issue number2
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)158-171
Original languageEnglish


Flexibility - considered broadly as adaptability and responsiveness to external forces - is a highly valued trait in late-modern life. As it reaches into new settings, there is scope to examine the diverse meanings, forms, and effects that it takes
on. Using Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (Glasgow) as a case-study, this paper explores how a ‘flexible museum’ is produced and sustained. By recounting ethnographic observation of the making of a small display on Charles Darwin, it
identifies how flexibility is variously made manifest not only as frequent material change, but also through new work-procedures and improvisatory practice. More broadly, and as situated within the landscape of museological reform, insight into the experiences and perceived effects of change on the everyday practice and sense of professional self of museum staff is provided.

    Research areas

  • Museum, Kelvingrove, Work, Exhibition, Flexibility, Staff, Creativity

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