Norsk Grafisk Museum – the Challenge of Adding More Context Gunnar Nerheim, May 29, 2009
What is the position of Norsk Grafisk Museum presently? • Established in 1993 • Run by a daily manager on half time • A lot of help from volunteers • Labour union actively engaged • As part of the Norwegian museum reform in Stavanger the museum was fully integrated into Stavanger Museum in 2006
The board of Stavanger Museum decided on May 7th that the museum remain here • Plans have been discussed for moving this exhibition to a more central location near the Stavanger Museum main building • - sharing the new location with an exhibition on the history of medicine • Both stakeholders – history of medicine and printing history – felt they would get too little space. Only half of the machines in this exhibition would have gotten space enough
What are the implications of the decision to remain here? • The city has other plans for these buildings. Only 3-months’ rental agreements • The new concert hall under construction will be opened in 2012 • The city council will have to make decisions about these buildings before then • What shall we do with our exhibition in the meantime?
The challenge of making this exhibition more interesting to the public • Very low visitor number the last years – a 100 plus • The vicious cycle of low numbers and irregular and infrequent opening hours • The challenge of being flexible and available when groups want to come • The challenge of making the exhibition self-explainable – that the daily operation can be done as part of Stavanger Museum`s normal operations – without having to call on experts each time
The exhbition needs more context – but what kind of context? • Only local context? • Local and national? • Local, national and international? • More text and pictures around the artifacts? • More pictures, text and PC-screens?
Din tanke er fri – trykking, trykkefrihet og demokrati • Thoughts are free – printing, freedom of the press and democracy • Die Gedanken sind frei – Drucken, Pressefreiheit und Demokratie • In historical perspective? • Presently? • In Norway? • In Norway and Europe? • In the whole world?
What shall we do? • If we had 30.000 Euro • If we had 60.000 Euro • If we had 100.000 Euro
The content of the exhibition - and what about the internet? • What should the relationship be between the exhibition as such and the general public on the internet? • The relationship between the local, national and international • ”Already the Chinese”, ”-the Greeks” and the ”Johannes Gutenberg” syndrome • Where to begin and where to end?Today we end with the age of the lead letter age
Developing an interactive exhibition • Is it enough in this time and age to be able to run old machines at certain occasions? • Is that what we mean by a living exhibition? • How do we engage actively with groups? • By doing papermaking? • By doing lithography workshops? • Are we willing to use a whole day from 9 to 13 on one school class?
The role of Norsk Grafisk Museum as a national museum • Are we willing to take on that role in earnest? • What would the implications be? • For documentation of machines, books, printed material of historical value • Cooperation with Literacy Studies at the University of Stavanger – they have both a masters and a Ph.D program
Active cooperation with other printing and media museums • We need it very much – for the exchange of ideas and inspiration • Let me put this idea before you: • Printing and media museums in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway and other countries join forces and apply money from EU to do a project where all partners are truly interested