B O O K P R E S Wilcox Steven


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B O O K P R E S Wilcox Steven

  1. 1. Steven Wilcox<br />Anth 377<br />Ball State University<br />04-12-10<br />1<br />Wilcox<br />
  2. 2. Making Museums Matter<br />Stephen E. Weil<br />Smithsonian Inst Pr., 2002<br />273 pages<br />2<br />Wilcox<br />
  3. 3. Measuring worth<br />Purposive – A clear sense of what purposes external to themselves they are seeking to accomplish<br />Capable – Command the means requires to accomplish those purposes<br />Effective – Demonstrate the ability to accomplish the purposes<br />Efficient – Are able to do so in a maximally economic manner<br />3<br />Wilcox<br />
  4. 4. Not all measurements are equal<br />Purposiveness and capability are the building block of a museum, ambiguity is the downfall<br />Efficiency must be balanced<br />Effectiveness is all the reallymatters<br />4<br />Wilcox<br />
  5. 5. Romance vs Realism<br />Romantic view <br />Realist view<br />A museum is an institution of universal and positive value<br />Museums are “inherently good” in this paradigm<br />Efficiency centered<br />Problems:<br />It can’t be bad<br />It could deliberately foster misunderstandings<br />A museum is a value-neutral organizational instrument with the capability to be used for a many purposes<br />Intention vs. Outcome centered<br />Problems:<br />Isn’t sure how to measure impact<br />5<br />Wilcox<br />
  6. 6. Measuring impact<br />6<br />Wilcox<br />
  7. 7. So why do museums matter?<br />They are institutions for the community, meant to enrich their patrons well being and knowledge<br />Museums are home to objects with powerful histories that help people better understand the past<br />Every museum can have a different purpose, so their potential is unlimited<br />7<br />Wilcox<br />
  8. 8. Contextual and Aesthetic value<br /> The first Amendment:<br />Free speech is free, as long as it isn’t vulgar<br />Aesthetic durability!<br />Can it withstand the test of time?<br />8<br />Wilcox<br />
  9. 9. Good vs. Bad Museums<br />Good<br />Bad<br />Purpose driven<br />Make a positive difference in the quality of peoples lives<br />Do they even exist?<br />9<br />Wilcox<br />
  10. 10. What to do with bad museums<br />In a sense they should be of greater concern than a good museum<br />They tie up resources and diminish museums reputations<br />So what should be done to bad museums?<br />If a museum is bad it should be fixed immediately, or closed<br />10<br />Wilcox<br />
  11. 11. Collecting<br />Private collecting today is the same, but institutional collecting has changed greatly<br />Three primary reasons for change<br />Exponential growth rate<br />Legal rules proliferated enormously<br />Most importantly, the nature of museums themselves underwent a complete transformation. Inward concentration to outward concentration<br />11<br />Wilcox<br />
  12. 12. How technology affects museums<br />With the rise of nanotechnology, could we have exact clones of original pieces of art?<br />Would they be under the same protection as the original piece, including copyright laws?<br />With the ability to encrypt data copyright laws have found a loop to be more or less protected infinitely<br />12<br />Wilcox<br />
  13. 13. Beyond the doors<br />Museums can be a compelling agent of fundamental social change<br />Through enrichment of visitors museums help form an educated, informed, sensitive, and aware citizenry<br />Help build a just, stable, abundant, harmonious, and humane society<br />13<br />Wilcox<br />
  14. 14. Carrying ideas out<br />Contains great rubrics to rate the success and value of museums<br />Could help refocus a museum staff<br />Great tool to inform students<br />14<br />Wilcox<br />