The co-production of temporary museum exhibitions

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This article explores how temporary exhibitions are produced in museums and how external parties are involved in the production of these exhibitions. The research is based on 20 qualitative case studies that were collected from a variety of museums in Britain. This article breaks down the process of producing an exhibition into six functional areas and uses this framework to analyze the pattern of external involvement. The concept of co-production is used to understand the level of external involvement and the degree to which the boundaries between exhibition producers and exhibition consumers have been blurred. The data suggest that, where external parties are involved in creating exhibitions, they are more frequently involved in particular elements of the process and apparently absent from others. The factors influencing this pattern of involvement are discussed and the implications for museum management are considered.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-321
JournalMuseum Management and Curatorship (MMC)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2010


  • museums
  • exhibition
  • coproduction
  • Co-production
  • co-production


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