Michelangelo: Closer to the Master

Exhibition Design

This hugely successful exhibition, which ran from 2005 to 2006, sought fresh ways to display Michelangelo’s art and explore its context. A carefully thought-out content plan enabled the artworks to be separate from, but connected to, contextual interpretation. The collection of drawings was displayed within a central area evoking a Renaissance library, whilst a timeline stretched around the edge of the room. The ceiling featured life-size versions of the Sistine Chapel frescos, displayed at the height the artist would have painted them. This drew visitors closer to the Master and proved a very popular part of the display.

The experience ended with three of Michelangelo’s late religious drawings, displayed for maximum emotional and atmospheric effect within a chapel-like space.

Record-breaking attendance saw 160,000 visitors attend the exhibition, 21% of whom were first time visitors to the Museum.

The exhibition was short-listed for the 2007 Museums and Heritage Award for Excellence for a temporary/touring exhibition.