What’s Keeping Museums from Telling Meaty, In-Depth Stories?


Renegade Tours

What role does storytelling play in the museum? 

Can storytelling be used to create unforgettable exhibits?

Why do museums often dilute stories by create exhibits that are too broad?

We read an article by Nina Simon that explores the idea of using exhibits to tell great stories. We summarized and visualized the article, because we loved the idea of museums using more storytelling techniques when creating exhibits.

Nina Simon Stories - title slide

Nina Simon - A great story can take you into another world

Nina Simon - But why aren't museums great at telling deep intense stories?

Nina Simon Stories - Why are exhibitions, which have huge potential as immersive, multi-platform narrative devices, so rarely used to that effect?

Nina Simon Stories - Too often we use the weakest storytelling techniques: broad generalizations on 50 word labels

Nina Simon - exhibitions could use narrative tools, objects, immersive design, and interactive experiences to tell great stories

Nina Simon Stories - common vs rare

Nina Simon Stories - incredible power comes from a  deep dive into one story

Nina Simon - we weaken stories by throwing too much into the same pot

Nina Simon Stories - we justify this by arguing that we have to tell the broader story

Nina Simon - the story tattoos itself on your memory

Nina Simon Stories - less prescribed more powerful impact

Nina Simon - tight doesn't have to mean limited

Nina Simon Stories - intense depth stands out and is unforgettable

Nina Simon Stories - specificity trumps generality

Nina Simon - credits

The original article “Into the Deep End: What’s Keeping Museums from Telling Meaty, In-Depth Stories?” was written by Nina Simon and published on Museums 2.0

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Do you work at a museum, and would like to talk about the art of storytelling? It’s one of our favorite topics! Find out about our consulting work with museums, or send us an email to find out more.

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