Free Exhibit Resources

Exhibit Resources from POW!

The Great Big Exhibit Resource List

A constantly updated compendium of resources for museum design and exhibit fabrication (including websites and contact information.)
>> view resource

Donor Recognition Examples

This is a PDF of examples of Donor Walls and other recognition devices in museums that were featured in an ExhibiTricks blog post. It's a BIG file so be patient as it loads.
>> view resource

Cheap Exhibit Ideas from the ASTC Exhibit Cheapbooks

Here are a few examples of the types of simple, inexpensive exhibit ideas to be found in each of the three volumes of The Exhibit Cheapbooks which I originated and edited.
>> view resource

POW! in The New York Times

A nice review of a children's interactive art exhibition I created for the Nassau County Museum of Art.
>> view resource

Downloadable Exhibit Articles by Paul Orselli

"Producing Great Exhibits on a (Not So Great) Budget"

My article from the January/February 2014 issue of ASTC's Dimensions magazine. Some simple, inexpensive ways to add to your exhibits program.
>> download the PDF now

"Green Design Nuts and Bolts"

An article jam-packed with resources and techniques to help you expand your green exhibit design toolkit.
>> download the PDF now

"Million Dollar Pencils and Duct Tape: Some Thoughts on Prototyping"

Concrete examples and tips about how to move through each phase of the exhibit prototyping process.
>> download the PDF now

"Good Things Come In Small Packages" (Small Museums Article)

Lessons learned from a quarter century of working with a variety of different types and sizes of museums.
>> download the PDF now

"Do You Really Need a 3D Printer, and Other Essential Questions You Need to Ask about a Museum’s Makerspace"

5 questions to consider when creating (or updating!) a Makerspace or design-based learning environment at your museum.
>> download the PDF now

ExhibiTricks blog

  • POW! Launches Museum FAQ Video Series


    Paul Orselli Workshop (POW!) is pleased to announce the launch of the new Museum FAQ video series!  Click on over to the Museum FAQ webpage to view the first videos in a library that will be growing quickly.

    Over the years, clients and colleagues have been asking Paul Orselli and POW! many "Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQ) about museum exhibit development and design, as well as other aspects of the museum business ranging from “What makes a great exhibit label?” to “What should I look for in a museum consultant?” We started the Museum FAQ video series to answer just those sorts of questions in a fun and informative way.
    We’ve just started the library of Museum FAQ videos, so bookmark the Museum FAQ webpage and come back often to view new videos! 
    Do you have your own Museum FAQ that you would like Paul to answer, or do you have a suggestion for a new Museum FAQ video? Just send Paul an email at paul@orselli.net with your questions or requests and you might see your own Museum FAQ featured in a new video soon!


    Don't miss out on any ExhibiTricks posts! It's easy to get updates via email or your favorite news reader. Just click the "Sign up for Free ExhibiTricks Blog Updates" link on the upper right side of the blog.

    Paul Orselli writes the posts on ExhibiTricks. Paul is an instigator, in the best sense of that word. He likes to mix up interesting people, ideas, and materials to make both individual museum exhibits and entire museums with his company POW! (Paul Orselli Workshop, Inc.)

    If you would like to support the content on ExhibiTricks, please consider making a small donation through our PayPal "Tip Jar"
  • Quick Inspiration: String Art



    Check out this string art created with ultraviolet light or video projection.



    For more images and information, click over to the artist's Facebook page or website.



    Don't miss out on any ExhibiTricks posts! It's easy to get updates via email or your favorite news reader. Just click the "Sign up for Free ExhibiTricks Blog Updates" link on the upper right side of the blog.

    Please support ExhibiTricks by making a donation through our PayPal "Tip Jar"
  • "Best Museum" Lists are the Worst



    USA Today recently published something claiming to be "The Best Museum in Every State" list.

    Aside from the incredibly stupid premise -- how would you compare two completely different types of museums, say the Museum of Modern Art and the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and claim one of them is the "best"?

    The people who most often seem interested in these "best museum" lists are executive directors chasing donors or museum marketeers looking to turn out another press release.

    Is there anything more pathetic than someone begging you to cast an online vote so that their museum can gain the "best" museum designation in the western suburbs of Boston or in small towns east of the Mississippi?

    Do we really want our work recognized by giving ourselves flimsy PR bragging rights because of some bogus "best of" list?

    You don't claim the title of "the best" for yourself in some cheesy marketing stunt, instead you do the hard work every day, with every visitor, to create amazing experiences so that they give you the title of "the best" by coming back to your museum again and again, and telling their friends and family to do the same.

    As that great museum philosopher Jerry Garcia once said, 


    "Don’t be the best. Be the only.”


    Don't miss out on any ExhibiTricks posts! It's easy to get updates via email or your favorite news reader. Just click the "Sign up for Free ExhibiTricks Blog Updates" link on the upper right side of the blog.

    Please support ExhibiTricks by making a donation through our PayPal "Tip Jar"
  • Partnership Power




    One of my favorite things about the museum business is the sharing that so often takes place between colleagues and creative partners. There is real power in partnership.

    What an opportunity then to share with ExhibiTricks readers the products of three new partnership projects that we all can learn and benefit from.

    The first is a new online resource called TMG Online Conversations.  TMG, in this case, stands for The Museum Group, consortium of independent museum professionals who work with museums to help them achieve their greatest potential in an ever-changing world. TMG Online Conversations builds on the tradition of TMG members presenting (in a conversational format) engaging topics of interest to the broader museum community. If you are in New Orleans for the 2019 AAM Conference, please keep an eye out for two Conversations programs that The Museum Group will be hosting on Tuesday, May 21st.  




    The first TMG Online Conversation (click here to view the video recording on YouTube) brought together Marsha Semmel, a TMG member and noted independent consultant and author, with Jane Werner, Executive Director of The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh,  to join in conversation about what they've learned from years of community partnerships and the impact of those partnerships on each of their most recent projects -- in the case of Marsha, a new book called "Partnership Power Essential Museum Strategies for Today’s Networked World" and in Jane's case, an entire new museum, Museum Lab, that will join the existing cultural campus of the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh.




    I found some great professional takeaways from watching the recording of Jane and Marsha's Conversation, but one thing that really stood out for me was Jane's commitment to "investing in people instead of investing in stuff."

    So here's to celebrating partnership power -- and Partnership Power!  I hope everyone will check out Marsha's new book, take a trip to Pittsburgh to visit the soon-to-open Museum Lab, and click over to YouTube to enjoy the very first TMG Online Conversation!



    Don't miss out on any ExhibiTricks posts! It's easy to get updates via email or your favorite news reader. Just click the "Sign up for Free ExhibiTricks Blog Updates" link on the upper right side of the blog.


  • In Solidarity -- Don't Stop



    In solidarity with colleagues and citizens in places like France, Brazil, Libya -- where cultural history has been destroyed by accident, by neglect, by violence.  I say, "Don't Stop."

    Working in the museum world can sometimes feel overwhelming. Days filled with administrative trivia, visitor complaints, and endless "to do" lists can, at times, wear even the most dedicated museum workers down.

    Don't stop.

    Find one thing today, even a little thing, that will make your museum better, and make you feel better about working there.

    It could be a Social Media post about a fun new Education program.  A tweak to an exhibit to make it move from good to great.  Ordering a new entry mat to replace that worn out old one by the front door. Sincerely complimenting a co-worker on a job well done. A phone call to reconnect with a community partner.

    All those little things add up --- for you, and your visitors.  There will always be things to rebuild, things to improve, but take time to look back at how far you have come, what you have built and accomplished, not just what is left undone.

    Don't stop.




    Don't miss out on any ExhibiTricks posts! It's easy to get updates via email or your favorite news reader. Just click the "Sign up for Free ExhibiTricks Blog Updates" link on the upper right side of the blog.

    Please support ExhibiTricks by making a donation through our PayPal "Tip Jar"