Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Hmm, so museum should show off its own stuff now and then

Through the Cranky Professor, a link to an article out of the Washington Post for Sunday November 27, 2005 (usual caveats about duration apply). The idea is that some museums now are beginning to give precedence to the items that they actually own. If any readers have recently been to a museum, they may have noticed the constant presence of travelling exhibits and basically materials from other places that the local museum brings in. I have been to such exhibits myself: a few years ago I went to the Star Wars one in Chicago, and recently the Lord of the Rings here in Houston. These are usually interesting and extremely popular (read crowded), and the local museum uses them as a way to increase revenue. However, this means people often forget about the stuff the museum already owns. The professor writes, "just think - no loans to arrange, no special insurance, no last-minute research on unknown pieces (well, assuming we've done our research as we go along)." It does sound like a good idea. I am not saying we should do away with special exhibits, just that some balance may be desirable.

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