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Ideal Museum Project: The American Museum of Wonder and Curiosity Cabinets Proposal PowerPoint Presentation


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Using the Guggenheim Helsinki proposal as a case study, I created a proposal for an imaginary museum called The American Museum of Wonder and Curiosity Cabinets. The PowerPoint presentation includes the following sections:

• Introduction to The American Museum of Wonder and Curiosity Cabinets
• Location Rationale
• Mission Statement
• Members of the Board of Directors
• Building Program
• Exhibition Plans
• Permanent Collection
• Special Exhibitions

Published in: Art & Photos
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Ideal Museum Project: The American Museum of Wonder and Curiosity Cabinets Proposal PowerPoint Presentation

  1. 1. Mission Statement: “To display, collect, and preserve artifacts relevant to the study of the visual arts and sciences and their histories, as well as pay homage to the history of museums and museology in the Western European tradition while incorporating American history and resources in the presentation of artifacts and design of exhibitions.”
  2. 2.  Curiosity cabinets serve as a pre-cursor to the modern-day museum, and their contents and displays can be seen as a history of museums  Royalty and members of the aristocracy were the foremost collectors  Tsar Peter I  Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria  Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor  Francesco I de’Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany  Charles I of England Frontispiece for the Museum Wormianum, 1655, which depicts Ole Worm’s cabinet of curiosities
  3. 3.  The vast majority of these collections remain in Europe  The Kunstkamera in Saint Petersburg was founded by Peter the Great, making it Russia’s first museum  Many of these collections can be found in England ▪ Ashmolean Museum (the first university museum) and the Pitt Rivers, both in Oxford ▪ The British Museum in London  Other collections can be found in Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia  Can be held in science and anthropological museums, studiolos, or former palaces
  4. 4.  Similar types of museums are rare in the United States, and they can be confusing and sound misleading  The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles ▪ Introduces itself as “an educational institution dedicated to the advancement of knowledge and the public appreciation of the Lower Jurassic…” ▪ While the MJT’s intro and purpose becomes clearer upon further reading… “The public museum as understood today, is a collection of specimens and other objects of interest to the scholar, the man of science as well as the more casual visitor, arranged and displayed in accordance with the scientific method…” ▪ … and one realizes it’s a “museum of museums….” ▪ Visitors have already made up their minds—the MJT must be a dinosaur museum!  The Mütter Museum in Philadelphia ▪ Part of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, so not completely autonomous… ▪ …which makes its website surprisingly difficult to navigate ▪ The museum is an eponym—doesn’t provide any hints as to what’s inside the museum or the nature of its collections ▪ And that umlaut throws many people off!
  5. 5.  Make these collections available to the public, not just for private viewing by the extremely wealthy  Understand and appreciate art using objects traditionally not considered as such  Understand how ideas and thought processes change over time  Presentation can be flexible, as different arrangements of objects create different meanings and contexts
  6. 6.  The ideal architect is Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue (1869- 1924), who designed several buildings across the U.S.  Goodhue designed spaces that served several functions necessary for a stable community: religious, civic, and educational  St. Thomas Church, St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, and Church of St. Vincent Ferrer, all of which are located on the UES  Grolier Club also on the UES  Los Angeles Central Library in Downtown L.A. ▪ Holdings include the Science, Technology & Patents Department ▪ The John Feathers map collection, which is a recent acquisition. Once cataloguing is finished the LACL will have the fifth-largest map collection in the U.S.  National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, D.C.
  7. 7.  Renovation of an existing building or constructing a new one are both appropriate architectural programs for the AMWCC  Planners and builders have easy access to the Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue Architectural Drawings and Papers, 1882-1980 Collection at Columbia University’s Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library in their Department of Drawings & Archives  Some of Goodhue’s buildings were completed posthumously by other architectural firms and designers, such as the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago
  8. 8.  The ideal location would be on the Upper East Side in close proximity to Museum Mile  Visitors would have the option of seeing a more specialized collection that’s close to Museum Mile  Museum Mile incorporates several specialized museums, including the Neue Galerie, El Museo del Barrio, and most recently, the Museum of African Art ▪ The Museum of African Art is supposed to reopen in 2014 under the new name the New Africa Center  Demonstrates that Museum Mile isn’t a static area and the museum-going public desires new institutions that allow visitors to explore alternate U.S. histories and experiences
  9. 9.  Florence Fearrington  Joanna Ebenstein  Robert D. Hicks, PhD  John Coppola  Judith B. Prowda, Esq.
  10. 10.  Education:  AB from the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, 1958  Certificate in Business Administration from the Harvard-Radcliffe Program, 1961  Activities:  Trustee at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa  Member of the Council of the Bibliographical Society of America and the Grolier Club, both in New York  Member of the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts  Library Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History  Professional Experience:  Founder and former President of Florence Fearrington Inc., an investment management firm (now part of the U.S. Trust Company of New York)  Curator of the exhibition “Rooms of Wonder: From Wunderkammer to Museum,” which has been shown at Harvard University’s Houghton Library and the Grolier Club in New York  Since October 4th, 2013, the exhibition has been at Grinnell College’s Faulconer Gallery and will be on view until December 15th, 2013  At UNC-Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library from February 20th, 2014 to April 20th, 2014 Florence Fearrington (left) with William P. Stoneman, the first Florence Fearrington Librarian of Houghton Library at Harvard University.
  11. 11.  Why her?  Longtime and avid collector of rare books and antiques  Has easy access to sources and materials that could be used for exhibitions at the AMWCC  Supporter and donator for other organizations outside of the cultural realm in addition to her professional and academic affiliations ▪ A nice way of saying that she has tons of money, which never hurts
  12. 12.  Founder of the Morbid Anatomy Library in Brooklyn and its blog, which “survey[s] the interstices of art and medicine, death and culture”  Education:  BA, University of California—Santa Cruz  Organizations:  Founding Member of Observatory in Brooklyn  Wellcome Trust in London  The Coney Island Museum  Activities:  Artist  Photographer  Lecturer  Collector  Traveler
  13. 13.  Why her?  The Morbid Anatomy Library statement of purpose complements the mission and goals of the AMWCC ▪ “The Morbid Anatomy Library is a research library and private museum in Brooklyn, New York. It is committed to celebrating and providing materials dedicated to the places where death and beauty intersect. The library makes available a collection of curiosities, books, photographs, artworks, ephemera, and artifacts relating to medical museums, anatomical art, collectors and collecting, cabinets of curiosity, the history of medicine, death and society, natural history, arcane media, and curiosity and curiosities broadly considered.”  The MAL is free to the public  Observatory offers lectures and studio workshops, some of which involve taxidermy and Victorian hair art  Only working artist on the Board of Directors
  14. 14.  Director of the Mütter Museum and Historical Medical Library of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia  Director of the Francis Clark Wood Institute for the History of Medicine at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia  William Maul Measey Chair for the History of Medicine  Education:  PhD, University of Exeter  Anthropology and Archeology from the University of Arizona  Professional Experience  Director of the Roy Eddleman Institute for Education and Interpretation at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia  U.S. Naval officer and worked in criminal justice for over two decades  Author of Voyage to Jamestown: Practical Navigation in the Age of Discovery (U.S. Naval Institute Press, 2011)
  15. 15.  Why him?  The Mütter Museum as one of the first American Curiosity Cabinets  Experience with collections management, exhibitions, and educational outreach for over 30 years  Expert in several fields of science and history ▪ PhD is in Maritime History
  16. 16.  Member of the National Museum and Library Services Board  Graduate Instructor in Curatorial Studies and Museum Management at Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C.  Professional Experience  Director of the Office of Exhibits Central at the Smithsonian Institution  Chief of the Bureau of International Expositions  Exhibitions Program Manager for Arts America at the U.S. Information Agency (now part of the U.S. State Department)  Exhibition Manager for the Museum of Latin American Art, the Smithsonian Latino Center, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., St. Thomas University in Miami, and the Stonewall Library & Archives in Fort Lauderdale
  17. 17.  Why him?  Appointed by President Obama to the NMLBS  Governing and political experience  Works with international and culturally diverse communities ▪ Museum consultant in the Middle East and Latin America ▪ Has overseen exhibitions pertaining to historically underrepresented groups
  18. 18.  Dealing with multiple and often overlapping fields of practice, including  Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law (EASL)  Environmental Law  Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Law  Intellectual Property (IP) Law  International Law  Need specialists within these fields  Copyrights, Trademarks, and Patents (IP)  International Business and Transactions (International Law)  Cultural Property and Ownership (EASL)
  19. 19.  EASL Committees include:  Alternative Dispute Resolution  Copyright and Trademark  Digital Media  Fashion Law  Fine Arts  Literary Works and Related Rights  Motion Pictures  Music and Recording Industry  Publications  Television and Radio  Theatre and Performing Arts  International Committee
  20. 20.  IP committees include:  Copyright Law  International IP  Patent Law  Pro Bono and Public Interest  Trademark Law  Transactional Law
  21. 21.  International Law committees include:  Committee on Europe  Committee on International Art Law, Art Funds, and Art Finance
  22. 22.  Senior Lecturer at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York  Education:  LLM from New York University School of Law  JD from Fordham University School of Law  MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University  MA in French from Middlebury College  Certificate from l’Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris  Professional Experience:  Chair of the NYSBA Committee on Fine Arts  Co-Founder and Co-Chair of the NYSBA Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution  Immediate Past Chair of the NYSBA EASL Section  Editorial Board Member of the Copyright Society of the USA  Author of Visual Arts and the Law: A Handbook for Professionals (Lund Humphries 2013)
  23. 23.  Why her?  Expert in EASL, IP Law, and International Law ▪ Specializes in legal issues pertaining to fine arts  Holds prominent positions in professional organizations while working in academia  Writes several articles for law journals and professional texts  Former journalist and interpreter for the U.S. State Department  Based in NY, but has worked in Paris and Geneva as an attorney and mediator
  24. 24.  One permanent collection, and three or four special exhibitions a year, with the possibility of traveling nationwide and/or internationally in the future  References American cultural history and phenomena, such as circuses and sideshows, as well as the rapid physical expansion of the U.S.
  25. 25.  Relics and Reliquaries around the U.S. ▪ The Holy Finger of Kansas City at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri ▪ St. Valentine’s relics at Old St. Ferdinand Church in Florissant, Missouri ▪ The Maria Stein Convent in Maria Stein, Ohio ▪ St. Herman’s Reliquary in Kodiak, Alaska ▪ St. Edmund’s arm in the Chapel of Our Lady of Assumption at Saint Edmund's Retreat in Mystic, Connecticut  Medical and pharmaceutical ephemera in the growth of the American drugstore—explores scientific breakthroughs, “cure-alls,” quack medicine, and the like ▪ Materials from the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices in Minnesota (now part of the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul) ▪ The American Institute of the History of Pharmacy in Madison, Wisconsin  Memento moris and Victorian funerary practices ▪ Death masks ▪ Postmortem photographs
  26. 26. William Michael Harnett, Music and Literature, 1878, oil on canvas, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY