Film and recordings from SSN conference: 'Why Exhibitions?' (21-22 Feb. 2018)

Why Exhibitions? Strategies, audiences, and future directions
A joint Subject Specialist Networks conference (21-22 Feb. 2018)

Venues: Tate Britain, National Portrait Gallery, London and National Gallery, London

To watch a brief film of highlights produced by Chocolate Films please click on the image above. Audio recordings of all papers are available here

This was a thoroughly inspiring and useful day – one of the best conferences I have attended in ages. Thank you very much for all the hard work and inspiration that went into planning and organising it.
— Alison Cox, Head of Visitor Engagement, Compton Verney Art Gallery & Park
I really enjoyed the conference. Was great to hear so many inspirational case studies from around the country.
— Natasha Howes, Senior Curator, Manchester Art Gallery
[...] I think that was one of the best events I’ve been to professionally, if not top of the list! I heard a lot of great feedback from others as well. [...]
— Natalie Murray, Collections & Exhibitions Manager, Barnsley Arts, Museums & Archives Service
It was refreshing to discuss exhibition making with sector specialists in this way. I was honoured to present my paper at the conference and appreciated the supportive atmosphere around the event, which made it a highly positive experience.
— Emma Ridgway, Head of Programme, Chief Curator, Modern Art Oxford (conference speaker)
Thank you so much for all the brilliant organisation. [We] really enjoyed the conference, and you must be so pleased by the undoubted success and very positive feedback. It was also a great opportunity to catch up with so many colleagues. Two highpoints for me were breakfast with one of the largest Lavery paintings in London (we currently have one of the preliminary oil sketches on display at the Ulster Museum), and sharing a stage with Jess Thom, an real privilege. We are definitely looking forward to the next conference, [...].
— Anne Stewart, Curator of Art, National Museums of Northern Ireland (conference speaker)

This joint conference examined the motivations behind exhibition programming, the practical challenges, and the future of exhibitions. For example, do UK museums have the in-house expertise to generate scholarly, audience-responsive, profitable exhibitions? How do they accommodate the demands of various stakeholders – curators, marketing and learning teams, audiences, and funders? And if the future is digital, what will audiences lose (and gain) by a virtual – rather than physical – engagement with museums and their collections? The conference panels addressed these and many other questions around the decision-making, delivery, and consumption of temporary exhibitions.

The conference keynote speaker was Sandra Penketh, Director of Art Galleries at National Museums Liverpool, and the panels were chaired by Gabriele Finaldi, Director of the National Gallery; Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery; and Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain. The programme included panel discussions, private views, and time to meet fellow delegates at Tate Britain, the National Portrait Gallery, and the National Gallery. 

For a copy of the programme please click here.