Make Your Own Museum

Learn what it feels like to create a museum by curating exhibitions, caring for objects, and inviting visitors to enjoy your work.

Words marked with an asterisk symbol (*) are defined in the glossary section. 

Print Instructions

Materials

Required

  • A wall or area for curating your museum 
  • Paper
  • Markers, colored pencils, or crayons
  • Removable/Wall-safe tape 
  • Glue or tape
  • Ruler

Optional

Cardboard boxes or cereal boxes

Activity 1: Name Your Museum

  • Name your museum.
  • Make a sign with your museum’s name and put it on the wall above your objects.
  • Try planning one with Poster House Board President, Val Crosswhite!

NOTE: You can come back to this activity if you’d like to name your museum after you curate your first exhibition.

Activity 2: Curate Your Exhibition

  • Congratulations! You are now the curator* of your museum.
  • Select objects* from your home to include in your exhibition* (for example: toys, stuffed animals, shoes, books, etc.)
  • Think carefully about which objects you choose:
    • What makes your objects similar? 
    • What makes them different?
  • Try your hand at curating your show with Chief Curator, Angelina Lippert!

  • Now arrange your objects.
    • Think carefully about how you will place them:
    • Will you put them on a box, a stool, or a chair so people can see them clearly?
    • Will you create frames for them to show how special they are?
      • Curious about how to create a simple frame? Watch Exhibition Manager, John Lynch, explain!

  • Give your exhibition a name! 

Activity 3: Make Your Wall Labels

  • On separate pieces of paper, write about your objects so that everyone knows what they are and why they are important to you. 
  • Use your papers as wall labels*
  • Tape or place your wall labels next to their objects.
  • Design your wall labels with help from artist and Museum Educator, Maya Varadaraj!

Activity 4: Create Your Poster

  • Create a poster to advertise* your exhibition.
  • Include: 
    • Your museum’s name
    • The title of your exhibition
    • A sentence that explains what’s in your exhibition 
    • The dates that people can come see your exhibition 
    • An image that makes people excited to come
  • Design your poster with Design Director, Ola Baldych!

Activity 5: Invite Visitors to the Exhibition

  • Create an invitation to give to your family and friends (your museum visitors), so that they can visit your exhibition.
  • Include information such as the time, date, and title of the exhibition.
  • While prepping for opening night, write your opening night speech with Museum Director, Julia Knight!

Activity 6: Prepare for Your Opening Party

  • Set the mood for your party by creating a playlist and paying attention to the lighting.
  • Make your visitors feel welcome by preparing special snacks for your exhibition opening with Director of Café des Affiches, Melissa Caruso-Scott!

Activity 7: Teach Visitors About Your Exhibition

  • When your visitors arrive, give them a tour of the exhibition by telling them about each of the objects you included!
  • You might also create a video tour for people who cannot attend the exhibition in person.
  • Plan to teach your visitors about your exhibition with Education Director, Samantha Hirsch!

Activity 8: Care for Your Objects

  • Make packaging from recycled boxes or folders to move and store your objects safely with Collections Manager, Melissa Walker! 

Activity 9: Curate a Second Exhibition

  • YAY! You’ve curated your first exhibition. 
  • If you had fun doing that, you can keep going and make more exhibitions! The possibilities are endless.

Glossary

Advertise: a way of encouraging people to want to do or buy something 

Curate: to organize a museum or exhibition

Curator: a person who selects objects for an exhibition

Exhibition: a group of objects in a museum

Objects: items in an exhibition 

Wall Label: an explanation of a museum object

Share

Take a photo of your exhibition and/or exhibition poster and share it with us, @posterhousenyc on Instagram. Be sure to include your museum name and exhibition title and we might include you in our #museumathome collection!

Check back soon for more activities and ideas for more exhibitions for your museum!

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