1. Purpose: In what ways does an exhibition format suit your assignment goals? What visual story do you want to tell with the exhibition? What do you want students to learn?
  2. Planning: How can you find the people and resources (support, skills, funds) you need? What models can help you make decisions about the scope of the project?  What time is needed to plan, design, hang, and strike the exhibition?
  3. Audience: Who will see it? How will the exhibition be advertised and presented?  What do you want the audience to learn from the exhibition?
  4. Labels: Who will write them, and how will they learn that skill? Do the labels convey the purpose of the exhibition, and help the objects speak?
  5. Design Is the exhibition aesthetic, inviting, and informative? Does each object tell a compelling story?

Susan Jaret McKinstry, Helen F. Lewis Professor of English at Carleton College, teaches Victorian novel, Victorian poetry, narrative theory, literary theory, Jane Austen, and creative writing. Her current research examines poetry and painting, book illustration, and the ideal book in the work of the Pre-Raphaelites. Susan was a co-director of the Visualizing the Liberal Arts initiative, and created three collaborative curricular exhibitions.