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Mini Exhibits by Jr. Curators

January 7, 2021

mini exhibit cornerIt’s always fun to go behind-the-scenes, and our new Jr. Curator Camp recently let some lucky kids do just that. Shadowing our Director of Collections, Exhibits, and Archives, campers got a personal tour of the Red Barn Gallery exhibit, a behind-the-counters look at the General Store, and ventured into two of our artifact storage facilities to see how curators care for artifacts while they’re on – and off – exhibit. They got to experience some cool artifacts up close and visit parts of the Farms that are usually off-limits to guests.

The campers spent the afternoon designing their own exhibits, so all morning they were hard at work developing their projects in their heads. Two campers chose to highlight 19th century fashion and spent the morning doing on-site research. Every time they saw clothing on display, they examined it closely to see how they could include it into their exhibits.

After a morning filled with hands-on inspiration in our 1876 town of Walnut Hill, everyone finally had the chance to make their own mini-exhibit. The campers let their creativity go wild as they decided what content to include and how it should look.

In addition to the fashion exhibits, one camper chose to focus on chemistry and astronomy, while another developed an immersive historic battlefield experience. Wow!

mini exhibit pinkAt the end of the day, the campers had an official exhibit opening, complete with VIP guests (other campers and LHF staff) and they got to take their exhibit home to share with their family, dolls, and/or pocket-sized pets.

Stay tuned for more Jr. Curator Camp opportunities! In the meantime, why not make your own mini-museum exhibit at home?


What you need:

  • A medium sized cardboard box
  • Craft supplies (paper, markers, scissors, glue – whatever you have available)
  • A great idea!

Need some inspiration? Check out the coloring sheets on our LHF Kids Club website. If you print them at 25% or 50% of their actual size, they make great murals for a mini-exhibit.

Can’t decide on an exhibit theme? Browse past issues of our LHF Kids Club newsletters for lots of neat exhibit ideas and content.

Need more ideas? Our online collections database has hundreds of artifacts to research and explore.


mini exhibit close upDirections:

Imagine the box is a big, empty room. Pretend that you are small enough to visit your exhibit. What sort of things might you like to see? What would you like to do? What would you like to learn about?

Paste artwork and exhibit labels on the walls. Fill the center space with artifacts on mini-stands made from cardboard, or fold paper into a triangle to make columns. Display artwork, images cut from magazines, and label text on the columns.


mini exhibit from aboveTips:

Tiny artwork and exhibit labels look great in little frames. Print free frames (search online for “Frame Drawing” for examples) and use them to add a little pizazz to your space.

Does your box have a lid? Make your tiny visitors look to the sky by decorating the exhibit’s “ceiling”.

Are you making this exhibit for a doll or your pet hamster? Keep size in mind when deciding how large – or small – your exhibit should be.


Curator’s Notes:

This may look like just a fun arts and craft project but some museum exhibits actually start out as cardboard models. After writing an outline and sketching it on paper, making a 3D model of the exhibit gallery helps to make sure that everything you want to include will fit in the space. A model can help determine where to build walls or hang signs, as well as establish the path that visitors should take around the space.

And models can be used for more than just exhibit development. Architects often build models before building begins. Are you thinking about redecorating your bedroom? A model may help you plan the perfect space. Let your imagination run wild and don’t forget to have fun!


Read more posts on the LHF Kids Blog


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