Reconstructing exhibitions is a research project that explores the recent curatorial practice of restaging seminal exhibitions from the past. Reesa Greenberg has argued that it constitutes a new genre, which she has termed ‘the remembering exhibitions’ (Tate Papers 12:2009). Despite the increasing popularity of restaging exhibitions, there is currently very limited scholarship that addresses the complexities and motivations of these reconstructions.

The project aims to advance the emerging scholarship on exhibition reconstructions by bringing together art historians, curators, artists and other museum professionals to share their diverse viewpoints from the fields of art history, curating, museology, art practice, and cultural heritage.

Following two successful events, we are currently seeking contributions for an edited volume, as the first comprehensive study on revisiting past exhibitions. Please send us your proposed titles and abstracts (350 words).

Reconstructing exhibitions is led by Dr. Michaela Giebelhausen (Central Saint Martins, UAL) and Dr. Natasha Adamou (Kingston University London; Central Saint Martins, UAL). For further info please contact us at

  • m.giebelhausen[at];
  • adamou.natasha[at]

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Negotiating a critical vocabulary: re-staging, reconstruction, re-enactment, revisiting, sequel, replication, revival, re-creation, iteration
  • The role of reconstructions for museums and art institutions in rewriting their own histories
  • The role of archives in exhibition reconstructions
  • Critique of archives as ideological structures
  • What is the contemporary critical value of reconstructions?
  • Institutional and curatorial motivations for restaging exhibitions
  • The relationship between exhibition histories and art history
  • Failures of restagings (i.e. fetishisation)
  • Emerging counter-narratives
  • Reconstructions, museum collections, patronage, value
  • The educational role of reconstructions
  • Reconstructions as critique of cultural colonialism
  • Audience experience: Remembering and mis-remembering, or from remembered to experienced
  • Reconstructions and the art market
  • Restagings and identity politics (i.e. revisiting histories of feminism etc) -Reconstructions and their influence on curatorial practice
  • The artist’s role in exhibition reconstructions
  • Interviews / Oral histories

Past Events:

  • “The Return of History: Reconstructing art exhibitions in the 21st century” Association of Art Historians (AAH) 42nd Annual Conference, University of Edinburgh (7-9 April 2016)1
  • “Reconstructions, Restagings, Re-enactments: Revisiting seminal art exhibitions in the twenty-first century”, International Research Workshop, Futuro House, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, in collaboration with Kingston University London (31 March 2017)
  • 1. conference/sessions2016/session34