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Review of the Museum and Art Gallery services : a report to the Department of Community Development, Sport & Cultural Affairs



Review of the Museum and Art Gallery services : a report to the Department of Community Development, Sport & Cultural Affairs

Other title

MAGNT Review December 2004 Morgan; Internal review of MAGNT. Final report March 2004


Morgan, Gary


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




"This Review has looked at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory’s outputs relative to benchmark museum and art gallery activities and outputs around Australia and relative to international trends in museum practice. This Review has also considered possible service outcomes set against three funding scenarios." - Executive summary


This review was commissioned by Risk Management Services of the Department of the Chief Minister for the Northern Territory, on behalf of the Department of Community Development, Sport and Cultural Affairs. The review was put to Tender in October 2004, with the Tender awarded in November 2004. - Introduction; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).

Table of contents

Executive summary -- Part A: Introduction - Background -- Outputs of this review. Part B: Outputs of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory - A comparison of the MAGNT outputs in activities of collection development and management, public programs and research relative to those of other state museums and galleries - A discussion of the MAGNT outputs relative to national and international trends in museums and galleries - A consideration of the scientific focus of the MAGNT in terms of a) its management and outcomes relative to other museums and b) its contribution to Northern Territory economic activity and Government programs - A comparison of per square metre exhibition costs at the MAGNT relative to other institutions - A comparison of the acquisition budget of the MAGNT relative to other institutions. Part C: Possible budget scenarios - A discussion of three budget scenarios for the MAGNT with their consequent service outcomes. Part D: Summary of recommendations. Part E: Sources and acknowledgements. Part F: Appendices 1-8




Museums -- Northern Territory -- Public opinion; Museums -- Evaluation; Public relations -- Museums -- Northern Territory

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



xviii, 124 pages ; 30 cm.

File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



Parent handle


Citation address


Related items

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/458000; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/457995

Page content

MAGNT Review December 2004 Morgan 107 part of this discussion, in so far as what is charged for and what is free. (See Commercial mix below). Operating pleasant airconditioned public facilities in a warm to hot tropical climate was identified by a (surprisingly) high number of people as a key attractor to visitors. In terms of public program facilities, several people referred to the inadequacy of gallery space to deliver on a true state museum and state art gallery program. In particular, non-Indigenous Australian art and the history of the Northern Territory were seen as poorly covered in exhibitions. This was seen as reducing the value of the MAGNT as a resource for students, as well as a facility for the general public. The near absence of an outreach program was noted by several people as a weakness and the lack of a well structured and interactive website was noted by even more of the respondents. These are both relating to remote delivery of products, beyond the walls of the institution, to people who may not be able to visit in person or who seek information relating to MAGNT programs. One respondent noted that community based exhibitions were rather lacking. Art gallery-museum mix The combination of art gallery and museum programs was seen as a strength by several people, most notably amongst internal stakeholders. This combination was seen to give the MAGNT opportunities for a more flexible program of synergistic products, although there was some admission that in practice relatively few truly synergistic products had been delivered. In contrast, some external stakeholders wondered whether that combination was in fact to the advantage of the institution, that is, was it trying to be and do too many things and that in such a mix, some areas will inevitably be losers in terms of resourcing. For example, one external stakeholder felt that natural science had for some time been the poor cousin to arts at the MAGNT (but noting that this view can extend to finer levels of detail, for example another view was that the fine arts may have been the poor cousin to Indigenous arts). The site and buildings The site at Bullocky Point was identified by both internal and external respondents as a strong attribute for the MAGNT. Several people felt that not enough was being done with the site however and that better use of the surrounds for things such as external art installations would enhance the visitor experience. Closer links with precinct neighbours such as the Botanic Gardens was raised as a sensible strategy. The wider location of the MAGNT was also seen as a plus, in so far as its placement as the primary museum and gallery of northern Australia, adjacent to Southeast Asia. This was seen as a defining attribute, one that the MAGNT has, and should continue to, exploit as a unique niche.