This article is about modes of exhibition in museums of cultural history in western Europe from the second half of the 20th century to today. I begin by considering some of the challenges national museums are facing today and then go briefly back in time to the evolutionary mode and what I call the didactic descriptive museology with its galleries of objects-witnesses and trophies that was prevalent until the end of the 1970s. Next; I discuss the polyphonic narrative turn and the museology of intersecting gazes that developed during the 1980s and which is still applied in European museums today. Thereafter; I probe the aesthetic mode which is a favourite strategy of display when treating themes pertaining to cultural diversity and otherness since the 1990s. To conclude; I present some thoughts about what I describe as the nomadic turn and the aesthetics of transience that have become the trend since the turn of our millennium. Before going on I want to emphasize that these different museological approaches do not follow a strict chronology. Their paths are often juxtaposed and overlapping.