A Review of Recommendations in Exhibition Summative Evaluation Reports
Summative evaluations of museum exhibitions are generally conducted with the aims of measuring whether an exhibition met its goals, identifying areas for improvement, and assessing impact. In many cases, evaluation studies also serve to advance the field by providing lessons for funders, policy makers, or practitioners beyond the project. This report includes details from summative evaluations that included recommendations, particularly those that might be useful for lessons learned and suggestions for improvements to the exhibitions that were evaluated. Using a bottom-up method of review, the issues that emerged as most common included orientation, conceptual communication, boundaries, the need for prototyping, and utilization (both under- and over-). These topics have wide applicability across types of institutions and topics for exhibits. This report concludes with the author’s recommendations for making recommendations in summative evaluations of exhibitions.