Museum Planning, LLC

Qué nombre te parece mejor para mi empresa en México?

No Comments 26 May 2014

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Museum Planning, LLC,

MUSEUMPLANNER 2013 – Thank You All !

No Comments 22 January 2014


Museumplanner 2013

Museum Planning, LLC

Plans for 2014

  • Complete Alcatraz Landing
  • “Museums 101″ published
  • New “Mail at Alcatraz” exhibit
  • On-line artifacts for “Alcatraz: Life on the Rock”
  • 2014 Museum Costs Survey
  • Museum Trends iPhone App
  • “Alcatraz: Life on the Rock” app
  • Interviews with leaders in the museum field
  • A potential show featuring Museum Planner
  • More great clients in 2014 !

Thank you for the great year!  Looking forward to completing more research on the topic of Museum Planning & Exhibition Design at and working with more great clients in 2014.

~Mark Walhimer
Museum Planner

Museum Planning, LLC

What do you do?

No Comments 12 March 2013

MWMuseum Planning LLC

I receive several emails a week asking “what do you do?” (in addition to writing the blog).  The easy answer is “help kids who learn differently”, but that is not a direct answer.  All of the projects I will work on are for informal educational institutions (science centers, children’s museums, traveling exhibitions, natural history museums, art museums).  I will forever be thankful to the museums of my childhood.   My work and this blog has become a passion in support informal education.

My firm Museum Planning, LLC has been part of starting more than 35 museums.  Because of my previous experience working at museums, I think of my firm as a “Freelance Exhibitions Department”.  We join your team to, expand, energize and create a museum.  This approach has worked very well. We become part of museum team, always thinking of the benefit to the project.  The end of the day, I believe strongly in the mission of informal education and want every new museum to succeed.

Services Include, in order of process:

(a) Board formation and development
(b) Development of Museum Mission
(c) Development of Museum Charter
(d) Development of Board of Director’s bylaws
(e) Development of Board of Directors Sub-Committees

Museum Feasibility Studies 
Program Development
(a) Review of institutional documents;
(b) Creation of Exhibition Narrative
Phase II – Business Planning
(a) Create a preliminary project budget
b) Create a preliminary project schedule
(c) Museum staffing requirements (as related to museum operation)
(d) Market Research of area
(e) Facility Costing, Capital Costs (Preliminary Estimates)
(f) Costs to opening
(g) Initial Operating Costs projection
(h) Research of comparable institutions
(i) Recommendations

Museum Master Planning 
Phase I – Program Development
(a) Conduct interviews with the client and designated consultants
(b) Develop an organizational plan and organizational chart for Museum, including both
public and private (back-of-house) spaces
(c) Develop an architectural program. The program to include space use, size,
adjacencies, unique characteristics and specialized technical requirements necessary for
each space.
(d) Make recommendations for other consultants, engineers and design/technical consultants.
The result of the services during Phase I will be a Program Development Package, including, five case studies of benchmark Museums, Organizational Plan, Architectural Program, Project Schedule and recommendations for any additional consultants
Phase II – Master Plan
(a) Collaboration on architectural plans;
(b) Create Exhibition Narrative;
(c) Create Visitor Venn Diagram;
(d) Sample umbrella concepts;
(e) Sample style boards;
(f) Sample graphics for interpretation for “look and feel”;
(g) Renderings

Exhibition Design
(a) Refinement of Exhibition Layout;
(b) Design Development Exhibition Floor Plans;
(c) Drawings of thematic elements;
(d) Material and color palette;
(e) Information of specialty effects;
(f) Data Sheets: exhibition information for each exhibit to include exhibit description, electrical requirements and sources for purchase;
(g) Graphics for each area;
(h) Exhibit label copy; and
(i) Exhibition budget.

Project Management
(a) Negotiate and manage the purchase of custom exhibits;
(b) Coordination with building architecture during construction;
(c) Mark Walhimer on site for installation;
(d) Coordinate graphics with project architect;
(e) Coordinate casework and specialty effects with project architect and fabricators;
(f) Work with vendors to prepare maintenance and repair manuals
(g) Coordinate casework;
(h) Coordinate exhibits with project architect;
(i) Site visits to fabricators to inspect exhibits prior to shipment;
(j) Shipping Coordination
(k) Review of exhibits upon arrival at museum ;
(l) Supervise installation crews;
(m) Art direct on site changes;
(n) Supervise lighting aiming; and
(o) Coordinate with exhibition vendors
(p) Staff Training

Often museums will start with a traveling exhibition prior to a permanent location, or create a traveling exhibition once the museum is opened.

Creation of Traveling Exhibitions
Program Development
(a) Review of documents;
(b) Creation of Exhibition Narrative
Business Planning
(a) Create a preliminary project budget
(b) Create a preliminary project schedule
(c) Museum staffing requirements (as related to museum operation)
(d) Market Research of area
(e) Facility Costing, Capital Costs (Preliminary Estimates)
(f) Costs to opening
(g) Initial Operating Costs projection
(h) Research of comparable institutions
(i) Recommendations
(a) Press
(b) Social Media
Exhibition Design
(a) Conceptual Design
(b) Schematic Design
(c ) Design Development
(d) Construction Documents
(e) Project Management
(f) Negotiate and manage rental agreements
(g) Design of each exhibition layout
(a) Transportation
(b) Exhibition Installation
(c) Art Handling
(d) Staff Training

Museum Project Closeout 
Punch List, Project Accounting, Warranty Issues and Remediation
(a) Create project punch list;
(b) Work with vendors to correct issues of punch list;
(c) Work with vendors to address warranty issues;
(d) Approve final vendor payments; and
(e) Art direct any changes to the exhibition spaces post-opening

Please contact me if I can be of help, Mark

Museum Planning, LLC, Project Management

Museum Planning Software

No Comments 23 February 2010

Below is a list of the software I use. I use a MacBook Pro, travel often so like having the laptop.  In the studio have two Mac design workstations and an office computer.


Sketchup – Free, 3D drawing software

Tux Paint – Free, Great for doing a quick sketches

VectorWorks – Drafting

Photoshop – Image Editing

Illustrator – Drawing software

Project Management

Gantt Project – Free, Wonderful for creating quick schedules

Microsoft Project – Use to create more detailed schedules


Open Office – Free and Open Source office suite, use when can’t open a document in Microsoft Word or Excel

Pages – Better for writing documents than Microsoft Word

Keynote – The best for making presentations

iMovie – Creating movies

Inspiration – Use to create bubble diagrams

Microsoft Office – Microsoft Word and Excel

iphoto – Organizing photos


Firefox – Free, Web Browser

Daylite – Customer Relationship Management, I have tried others keep coming back

Palm Desktop – Free, Contact Database

itunes – Listening to music while I work

Skype – International calling and chat

XStreamRipper – Free, Use to record my favorite Internet radio programs

Apple Mail – Email

Quickbooks – Use for accounting

Parallels – Use so I can run Microsoft Project on a Mac

Plaxo – Free, Use to remember birthdays

Whatsize – Gives you an idea of how your hard drive is being used

Super Dupper! – Great program makes a copy of your hard drive as a back up

Backblaze – Online back up of all files

Disk Inventory – Free, A visual of your hard drive use

Museum Planning, LLC

Volunteer Teaching Ubud, Bali

No Comments 27 January 2010

I have been been traveling in Asia for almost six months now. The last two months I have been volunteer teaching English and Art here in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

Here in Bali everyone belongs to a Banjar, the Bajar is your local village and the Banjar is the local form of government. Each Banjar has at least one temple and also governs the schools. I asked to be introduced to the Kepala Dusan the “Mayor” of the Banjar and expressed an interest in teaching English and Art to the local kids.

The Kepala Dusan was very excited and set a meeting for the next day to introduce me to the Principal of the local school, Sekolah Dasar Negeri 1. The Keala Dusan expressed that the local kids don’t have much to do in the afternoon and would I be interested in teaching in the Banjar? So two days a week I teach in the public school and two days a week I teach in the Banjar. In the public school I teach grades 4, 5 and 6, and at the Banjar I teach ages 6 to 12. The classes are an hour long and have between 30 and 40 students per class.

Museum Planning, LLC

Happy 2010!

No Comments 01 January 2010

Wishing you all of the best in 2010!


Sunset at the beach at Tanah Lot, Bali, Indonesia

Fund Raising, Museum Planning, Museum Planning, LLC

“So, what do you do?”

No Comments 05 December 2009

Museum Planning, LLC

Happy Holidays!

No Comments 23 December 2008

Wishing you all the best in 2009

Snowy owl’s beautiful white plumage helps to hide it in its Arctic habitat. Only the males are completely white. Chicks are dark and spotted, while the females are white with spots on their wings.

National Geographic

Photograph by Norbert Rosing

Museumplanner is run by Mark Walhimer, Managing Partner of Museum Planning, LLC an exhibition design and museum planning company.

Mark is available for consultations. Feel free to contact him using our contact form.

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