On the Pull
This project was an exciting opportunity for Royal Pavilion & Museums to engage new audiences and develop new ways of researching, interpreting and displaying its collections. Part consultation process, part research project and part multifaceted museum experience, it was themed around courtship, attraction and the quest to find the perfect partner.
On the Pull was made possible through the Designation Challenge Fund (DCF) 2006-2008 with support from Renaissance in the Regions, Brighton & Hove City Council and the James Green Charitable Trust.
The project drew on Royal pavilion & Museums’ Designated collections of world art, decorative art and natural science, and also explored its collections of fashion, local history, media, film and fine art.
Targeted focus groups helped the organisation look at what it was already doing, how it could do it better and how it could make the museum experience relevant to them. This consultation helped inform research sub-themes, interpretation, signage, design, web content, marketing and a programme of events.
Six special bursaries were set up and six researchers/interpreters were recruited. Given the theme of courtship, their task was to tease out ‘hidden histories’ in the collections and give innovative
and creative responses to them. They did so through music, film and writing, and their research provided a basis for new displays and web presence.
The result was On the Pull, a six month interactive museum experience during 2008 that took a light-hearted look at love and attraction through:
- A series of linked displays
- A programme of public events
- The development of social networking websites
- Echoed themes around Brighton Museum & Art Gallery’s permanent galleries
On the Pull has helped the organisation:
- Engage with reluctant visitors and use their opinions/choices to help effect change
- Look at new ways of researching and interpreting the collections
- Rethink presentation and interpretation methods
- Refine marketing strategies
- Embrace new approaches to staff development
Read the full report here:
On the Pull final report [Adobe PDF 5,256 KB]
On the Pull Researcher/Interpreter Gayle Dower explores the scandalous world of blue tit courtship in her research on the Natural Science Collection.
Annebella Pollen, Researcher/Interpreter for the On the Pull project, introduces a collection of unusual valentine cards in Royal Pavilion & Museums' collection.
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