Association Activities and Aims

Aims of the IAIM

The Association is currently working on a comprehensive set of aims and guiding principles, which will be published here when complete.

Audit and Advocacy

Members are encouraged to undertake audits of museums in their respective countries, which may take several forms. For larger institutions, a comprehensive approach may be needed, as these places can often be lacking in creative curation. Needless to say, there are often outstanding examples of imaginative display in smaller museums, which we intend to highlight. Members may also wish to share and publish the results of their audits, and to provide advice to the institution surveyed.

Some guidance notes on audits are reproduced below

We are aware of some of the problems with the lack of creative curation at major museums in our respective countries, and so this guidance should help members when undertaking audits. The key things we encourage are a multiplicity of different ways in which objects and information can be creatively displayed in order to enlighten and entertain visitors.

The visitor is an important person - without them, museums would be archives, closed depositories of objects. We should not assume the visitor has any specific knowledge, and therefore displays might work on several levels, but still be accessible to a child, a college professor and a foreign tourist.

We might consider the audit as focusing on three levels - the object, the room, and the overall institution.

The Object - How an Object is displayed is critical - what are its surroundings? Is there a narrative connecting it with the rest of the room and the museum? What are the aesthetics of display, including the use of colour, the type of text etc?

The Room - As for the Object, how is the room set out, and what draws the visitor around it? Is there repetition, and if this is necessary, how is it creatively handled? What connections can the visitor make, and what information are they given to do this? What is the condition of the room, and is it a place where visitors will want to spend time?

The Museum - Why does the museum exist - and what has changed since it was created? How does it compare to other similar institutions? Is there is overlap with other collections and how is this handled? How are the collections organised into rooms and what rationale is behind this?

As well as these types of analytical questions, members should also draw upon their own institutions as well as those which represent good examples of imaginative curation.