Exhibition boosts museum numbers

03:54, Nov 06 2012
RETRO BOOST: Seung Hye Cho and daughter Yu-Jeong Kim, 3 , of Timaru view photographs at the Downtown exhibition in the South Canterbury Museum.

Nostalgia is proving popular, with visitor numbers at the South Canterbury Museum up 40 per cent in October.

DOWNTOWN, the museum's latest photographic exhibition was inspired by the Timaru History "Generation X 1965 to 80" Facebook group and has attracted considerable interest, South Canterbury Museum director Philip Howe said.

''Word is spreading about what people have seen and the material shown in the comments.''

The museum has included an interactive component in the exhibition by inviting visitors to post their comments about the images.

''Anecdotally, we have noticed higher than usual numbers of local people coming in to view the exhibition, particularly in the weekends and weekday mornings, which are usually quieter at this time of year.

''October's numbers are up for two reasons, busy holidays at the start and high local attendance for DOWNTOWN towards the end of the month.''


In October, 2297 total visitors were recorded, up 42 per cent on an three-year average target of 1609. Casual visitors numbered 1722, up 58 per cent on a three-year average of 1084.

Total visitors since DOWNTOWN opened on October 20 number 907.

''To me this indicates a strong interest in our recent past,'' Mr Howe says.

''This exhibition was inspired by Facebook, but in return it has turned into something three dimensional.''

Museum staff gather visitor numbers manually, counting them at the entrance. Visitors are then divided into casual, research, groups, school classes and off site users. Figures are compared against the average of the past three years to indicate trends.

The Timaru Herald