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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 19 3.3 Public programs 3.3.1 General The public programs of the MAGNT comprise exhibitions (long term/permanent*, temporary and touring), products and services associated with those exhibitions, the education program, products delivered online, talks and seminars and any other outputs that make contact with the public to inform and entertain. Publications of staff may be seen as a zone of overlap between research and public programs. (*No exhibitions are truly permanent. The long term galleries of museums are costly to install and are intended to have a significant part of their infrastructure in place for a number of years. The actual life of a long term exhibition may be as brief as two to three years, but is more typically five to ten, and in many cases significantly longer than that. Art galleries typically change a much higher proportion of their exhibitions on a regular basis.) As is noted above, at a core functional level museums in this country deliver similar services. There are some (relatively small) areas of inclusion or exclusion. For example, unique amongst Australian museums the WA Museum operates a Documentary Unit developing media products for commercial sale. Some museums run their own publishing unit (eg. the Queensland Museum, Australian Museum, Western Australian Museum), and others do not. The generic public programs of the MAGNT are in keeping with those delivered by the other state and national bodies. There is nothing in the MAGNTs public programs that one would suggest as being a non-museum product. (A component of the public program that is not within the scope of this Review would justify further analysis. The MAGNT operates a number of sites in addition to Bullocky Point. Several of those sites are heritage buildings/historic sites. Operating historic sites can be seen as a museum function, but to a large extent, that role has been divested to other agencies/departments in most Australian states. The role of a state museum and gallery is to profile and interpret the moveable cultural heritage of the state; running and maintaining historic buildings is at best peripheral to those key functions, and at worst, diverts resources and strategic attention away from the primary outcomes. The ongoing relationship of the MAGNT to these sites should be reviewed, in tandem with development of a Strategic Asset Management Plan) 3.3.2 Site The Bullocky Point site is in itself a key aspect of the public program of the MAGNT. This is one of the most striking sites for any of Australias large museums. The landwater interface is always an evocative siting for museums and galleries as can be seen in other Australian examples (National Museum of Australia on Lake Burley Griffin; Australian National Maritime Museum on Darling Harbour; Queensland Museum on the Brisbane River; Western Australian Maritime Museum on Fremantle Port) as well as overseas examples (such as the Guggenheim Bilbao and Te Papa Museum of New Zealand). The tropical setting of the MAGNT, with its canopy of lush vegetation, is a convivial and welcoming framework for the museum. There are significant opportunities to better integrate the precinct into the MAGNT experience such as outdoor art and more interpretive signage of the Indigenous associations and natural features and processes of the area. In some cases, new museums have attempted to artificially create from scratch what the MAGNT already has as a natural attribute; for example, Te Papa Museum of New Zealands Bush City and the Museum of Melbournes Forest Gallery.