The Penneshaw Maritime and Folk Museum on Kangaroo Island have undertaken a complete overhaul of the displays in the museum’s main exhibition space, the MacKenzie Room. Completed in the last couple of months, the new displays were professionally designed and have been put together largely by the museum’s volunteer team. The displays have taken nearly four years to complete and, along with sizeable cash contributions from the museum, were substantially funded by two CMP grants ($15,000 in 2008-09 and $5,755 in 2009-10).
Working to the museum’s interpretation and design plan, volunteers were involved in writing the stories for the display, choosing objects and images and undertaking all other curatorial aspects of the display. Museum volunteers also spent about 1000 hours cleaning, sanding and painting the display room to make it ready for installation of the new displays.
The new displays follow a number of historical themes important to the history of the Penneshaw region, including maritime history, geology and land settlement. Display panels with images and text are used to tell relevant historical stories while the display cases highlight artefacts that further enhance the stories. The museum intends to regularly change artefacts on display to maintain public interest and to allow for a larger number of items from the museum’s collection to be shown over time.