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Expert Profile


Caitlin McQuade






Position Type:



United States of America

Years in the field:

26+ Years

Areas of Expertise

Exhibits development

The first exhibit I planned opened in 1985. Since then, I've worked directly for museums and as a freelancer. Employers and clients have included history museums; national, state, and tribal parks departments; historic houses; a botanical garden—even a federal appeals court.

I realized early—as a junior in high school!—that this work involves my skills and interests. Over time I've refined my ability to:

  • see and articulate engaging stories that emerge from a collection of facts, artifacts, and images
  • steer unerringly toward a project's goals
  • work companionably or lead teams with content experts, educators, exhibit designers, media producers, and community members
  • channel storylines to target audiences, especially by applying visitor studies
  • conceive interactive means to involve people in stories
  • research, write, interview, find images, interpret design drawings, incorporate feedback, copy edit, test prototypes
  • make time to laugh!

Teaching museum studies has helped me see exhibits in their institutional context and keeps me current with trends in exhibitions, audience research, and curation.

I live in Boulder , Colorado, with a professor of education (from whom I learn a lot about informal learning environments). We love traveling; ask me about the museums I visited in Great Britain, Israel, Dubai, Mexico, and the Netherlands.

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