Ideally, exhibitions don't exist only within the confines of a gallery: they can stay with the visitor for long afterward, perhaps with the aid of a souvenir. The booming development of gift shops in museums (or museums appended to gift shops, as it might seem at times) is a polarizing issue, but personally I always like browsing the selection of books in a museum shop. Often the supply include books you can't find anywhere else, and they tend to include superb pictures. So I was happy to see this table of books in the exhibition galleries of the Neues Museum in Berlin. In a long gallery that mostly serves as a passageway, this table wasn't competing for attention against any objects but presented the visitor with an array of books relevant to the adjoining galleries. I like the idea of being able to browse the books while you're still thinking about the objects on show, rather than having to wait until the end of your visit when other thoughts are pressing in (bathroom, next museum, lunch, etc.). The subjects ranged from the famous "golden hat" in the neighboring gallery to well-chosen books on astronomy (a theme integral to the hat) and early humans.
Ideas on Display
A humble space to reflect on concepts of museum display as enacted across a wide range of subjects, countries, and approaches.