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Steven Lubar keynote presentation: Transport and Mobility on Display


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Presentation to the 9th International Conference of the International Association
for the History of Transport Traffic and Mobility: Transport and Mobility on Display

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Steven Lubar keynote presentation: Transport and Mobility on Display

  1. 1. TRANSPORTandMOBILITYON DISPLAYFIVE BIG QUESTIONSSteven LubarBrown UniversityProvidence, RI USAOctober 2011
  2. 2. Who?What?When?Where?Why?
  3. 3. Who?
  4. 4. the people in this room,curators, museum educators,interpreters, expertsthe other, the past, us in thepast, the “community”, theobject of displaythe audience, readers, historicsite and museum visitors,tourists
  5. 5. ( )The first task of every museum is “adding to the happiness, wisdom, and comfort of members of the community.”—John Cotton Dana, Director, Newark Museum, 1917
  6. 6. ( ) The museum must remain “firmly in the control of a trained elite [to]maintain standards of quality independent of the contingent values of dailylife.” Museums “must direct public taste…and not be dictated [to] by it.”— Paul J. Sachs, Director, Harvard Museum Studies Program, 1920s
  7. 7. ( ) Museums should foster “the ability to live productively in a pluralist society and … contribute to the resolution of the challenges we face as global citizens… In every aspect of their operations and programs, museums must combine a tradition of intellectual rigor with the inclusion of a broaderspectrum of our diverse society.” Every aspect of their work should be “supported both by rigorous scholarship and by respect for the many cultural and intellectual viewpoints that museum collections stand for and stimulate.” —American Association of Museum’s Excellence and Equity, 1992
  8. 8. ( )“Preserve, interpret and create passion for Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg automobiles and their heritage of innovation, influence, design and competition” Mission statement of the Auburn Cord Dusenberg Automobile Museum
  9. 9. ( )“A spotlight on days gone by – reawakening memories, rekindling emotions and conjuring up that typical gurgly chugging sound that a Beetle boxer engine makes.”Volkswagen AutoMuseum
  10. 10. ( )“Developing educational materials and conducting programs to increase the publics understanding of, and involvement in, the development of aviation and spaceflight” —from the National Air and Space Museum mission statement
  11. 11. ( )“The museum works in collaboration with the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere to protect and foster their cultures by reaffirming traditions and beliefs, encouraging contemporary artistic expression, and empowering the Indian voice.” National Museum of the American Indian
  12. 12. “Commitment to produce unparalleled entertainment experiences based on the rich legacy of quality creative content and exceptional storytelling.” Disney
  13. 13. ( )“I believe that museums have the potential to undergo a similar (r)evolution as that on the web, to transform from static content authorities to dynamic platforms for content generation and sharing. I believe that visitors can become users, and museums central to social interactions.” Nina Simon, Museum 2.0, 2006
  14. 14. Who?What?When?Where?Why?
  15. 15. What? What kind of exhibits? What kind of objects? What kind of context?
  16. 16. Things… ...or people?
  17. 17. Things… ...or stories?
  18. 18. Breadth... ...or depth?
  19. 19. Makers… ...or users?
  20. 20. Real... ...or virtual?
  21. 21. Exciting... ...or contemplative?
  22. 22. Lecture... ...or dialogue?
  23. 23. Authentic... ... or accurate?
  24. 24. Preserved... ...or put to use?
  25. 25. Exotic... ...or everyday?
  26. 26. Vehicle... ...or infrastructure? Historic Route Marker
  27. 27. Context... ...or community?
  28. 28. Context... ...or collection?
  29. 29. Who?What?When?Where?Why?
  30. 30. Yesterday’s News Current day, too recent, for my parents not history yet “ol skool” “Back in the day”Too Old, not relevant, Old of date not interesting Classic Retro d! t o t! ! gh s ol w To Ju ne o riTo
  31. 31. es te rd a y To da yTo m or ro w
  32. 32. Who?What?When?Where?Why?
  33. 33. Where?
  34. 34. Who?What?When?Where?Why?
  35. 35. Why?
  36. 36. Useful
  37. 37. Good for you
  38. 38. Fun
  39. 39. Who?What?When?Where?Why?
  40. 40. Thank you.