International Training Programme 2021 – Week 8

Written by George Peckham, ITP Assistant

We are approaching the halfway point of the online element of ITP 2021! For week 4 of our ITP core sessions we are focusing on Permanent Displays.

This year’s case study in permanent displays is the Albukhary Foundation Gallery of the Islamic world. This gallery will act as a platform to discuss the planning and delivering of a new or refurbished permanent display.

Colleagues around the British Museum have provided presentations explaining their role and the role of their departments in refurbishment of Albukhary Foundation Gallery. They will look at the permanent gallery processes; the scope of the project; the narrative and visitor impact and the design and display process and realisation.

Creating a new permanent gallery is an amazing opportunity for museum staff to remember the lessons learnt from previous projects and to implement change. Museum staff must consider that the new gallery will indefinitely remain and should therefore ensure that what they create is relevant today but will also stand the test of time.

This week’s modules aim to answer questions like, what is the role of the curator in a gallery redisplay? What was the process for selecting objects for the space? What is the role of the conservation team in a permanent gallery display? Who are the team that install the objects and monitor the gallery spaces?

This week also includes a new ‘in conversation’, a module that focusses on a particular theme or current issue in the culture and heritage sector. This week Anna Cottle spoke to Anna Garnett, Curator at the Petrie Museum of
Egyptian Archaeology, about their project ‘Revealing the Characters behind the Petrie Museum Collection.’ This project that demonstrates a new way to talk about the history of a museum highlighting those involved in the discovery and development of the collection.  The project aims to look at the origins of collections and the often ‘hidden histories’ that can be shared around identity and inclusion.