Tag archive for "Museum Planning"

Museum Planning, LLC, museumplanner.org

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 museumplanner.org and working with more great clients in 2014.

~Mark Walhimer
Museum Planner

Museum Planning

Big Questions

No Comments 05 April 2010

City Museum

The City Museum

This week I received an email from a start up museum with four questions:

What does it take to make a great museum?
What makes a museum popular?
Why are museums successful?
What are the best story lines?

At first I thought there is no way to answer such big questions.   Yet, I am reading Guns, Germs and Steel, The Fates of Human Societies, by Jared Diamond.  The question posed in the book is much bigger “Why is it that you white people developed so much cargo and brought it to New Guinea, but we black people had little cargo of our own”, an even bigger question than the museum posed to me.

My take:

What does it take to make a great museum?
My favorite museums are the the ones that are unique, offering something I can’t see or experience anyplace else.  Whether that is an amazing collection of Art, unusual museum architecture, or unique exhibits.

What makes a museum popular?

Being a destination, offering something that is of value that cannot be experienced elsewhere.

Why are museums successful?
Several surveys rank museums as the most trusted source of information, often being a valued source of content is the driving force in making the museum successful.

What are the best story lines?

Yours!  If you don’t have a good story to tell you shouldn’t build the museum.  All great museums have a great “elevator pitch”, if I asked you to describe the Exploratorium most people would say “A huge building with science exhibits built there in the workshop by artists”, the “elevator pitch” is accurate and is the message delivered.

Fund Raising, Museum Planning, Museum Planning, LLC

“So, what do you do?”

No Comments 05 December 2009

Estimates, Exhibition Budgeting, museumplanner.org, Project Management

Museum Project Services

No Comments 24 July 2009

I have recently finished up my two projects for the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis; “Take Me There Egypt” and the “the world’s largest Brachiosaurus dinosaur sculpture” and I am now starting to look for new opportunities.  Services:

* Exhibition Project Management
* Exhibition Project Estimating
* Museum Planning
* Museum Producer
* Owners Representative

My projects for the Children’s Museum:

* Phase II dinosaurs, the world’s largest Brachiosaurus dinosaur sculpture, 50′ tall, $1,000,000 budget, installed on schedule and under budget

* Take Me There Egypt, 10,000 square foot exhibition, $3 million dollar budget, completed ahead of schedule and under budget

The Museum has been getting a tremendous amount of news coverage:

Take Me There Egypt:

Phase II Dinosaurs:

Contact me at:



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The Museum Planner blog explores the best practices and ideas in the field of museum planning and exhibition project management.

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Look forward to hearing from you!  Best wishes, Mark

Museum Planning

Mickey’s Ten Commandments

No Comments 21 May 2009

By Marty Sklar
President, Walt Disney Imagineering

I.    Know your audience.
II.   Wear your guests’ shoes.
III.  Organize the flow of people and ideas.
IV.  Create a “weenie” (visual magnet).
V.   Communicate with visual literacy.
VI.  Avoid overload – create turn-ons.
VII. Tell one story at a time.
VIII. Avoid contradictions – maintain identity.
IX.  “Ounce of treatment – ton of treat.”
X.   Keep it up (maintain it).

From InfoComm International 2007

Walt Disney Imagineering was established in 1952 to master plan and design Disneyland. As the “Imagineering group” of The Walt Disney Company,it is responsible for creative development, design, architecture, engineering, production and project management for Disneyland, Walt Disney World (including Epcot), Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris and other major Disney projects.

Museum Planning

What is Museum Master Planning?

2 Comments 20 May 2009

Museum Master Planning is the creation of documents to describe a new museum’s vision, the visitor experience and an organizational plan for the new institution.

Museum Master Planning includes:

  1. A review of institutional assets and collections
  2. A review of local attractions and museums
  3. Educational objectives of the new institution
  4. Experience objectives of the new institution
  5. Exhibition story line
  6. Visitor flow diagrams
  7. Thematic treatments
  8. Preliminary exhibition layout
  9. Style Boards
  10. Exhibition Renderings
  11. Preliminary staffing plan
  12. Preliminary project schedule
  13. Preliminary project budget

Museum Master Planning is created by a museum planning team, that include; museum staff and volunteers, members of the board of directors, a museum planner and representatives of city and state planning agencies.

The objective of  Museum Master Planning is to create a clear and concise “road map” for the creation of new institution and a sustainable long term museum vision.



Why Are You Building A Museum?

No Comments 19 March 2009

Sound like an easy question?

Often I lead museum planning sessions for new museums.  The museum has part of the funds raised to create the museum, they have their non profit status, have created a Board of Directors and now are ready to take the next steps.

  • Create fund raising documents
  • Create an Umbrella Concept
  • Start to research potential exhibits

Often my my first questions is “Why are you creating a (insert Children’s Museum, Science Center, Visitor Center)?”

Often the answers are:

  • “Our kids are falling behind in the sciences”
  • “I went to the one in (insert city) and thought we should have one here”
  • “We can’t find workers that can staff our company”

Although they are all okay reasons, the mission of a museum is education and education requires more than a building in requires a culture that can grow and adapt along with the overall culture, that is the tough part of “building” any museum, the easy part is the exhibits and building.  So I often ask the question again why do “you” (each board member) want to create a museum and then the stories start.  Those are the reasons to create the museum.

“Building the building is easy, creating the culture is the tough part”

James “Walkie” Ray, Former Chairman of Discovery Science Center at the opening of DSC


Museum Planner, Museum Planning

No Comments 11 May 2008

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

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