Museums and poor taste

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Dan German, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    As I said in my original post, I was probably overreacting. Neither did I suggest leaving a commemoration of the event out of the museum, just finding another way of doing so with less of a talismanic whiff about it.

    My comment about the Cub Scout shirt was just the offhand observation of a crank who hadn't had his morning coffee yet. When preparing any exhibit, the first thing you will have to deal with is the amount of space. In my line of work, that's almost always less than you want. So including an object of tangential interest often means leaving something else out. I was just questioning whether it was worth prioritizing the shirt. Clearly the curatorial staff felt they had sufficient space to go beyond a simple representation of Jim Morrison's direct contribution to R&R. If that's so, great, I get the importance of placing the Lizard King in context as a kid like you and me.

    getbent and studio1087--and everybody else--thanks for the comments. I wanted to post my gut reaction without thinking about whether I was right or wrong and see what bounced back. Reflecting on it (after working in a museum all day then reading these comments) I would say now that in the context of the museum itself, I am wrong about these exhibits, but in the context of the R&RHOF website, I will stand by my original statements. When all you have is one picture online to represent each exhibit, I still feel those are not the pictures to do it with.

    One thing hekawi and getbent have reminded me of is the time when I was a kid and I saw the Bonnie and Clyde Death Car in a car museum. I can't remember where it was. Anyway, I thought it was super cool, because at that age I was obsessed by all things related to the Depression era. As I read the placard by the exhibit, it slowly became clear to me that it was the death car from the Beatty/Dunaway movie, not the real one. I was right gutted. :(
     
  2. getbent

    getbent Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Dan,

    I don't think you are wrong. Some stuff offends, some stuff excites, some stuff doesn't have any effect at all. I had the same reaction on the 'death car' but it was still titillating and made me see the scale of the car, the bent metal, the holes... I could 'feel' it...

    I've been to several historic sites where genuinely awful stuff occurred and I was (again) titillated and then the gravity of the event got me... but, I was glad of it...

    I frequently tell the story about graduating from William and Mary and that you have the opportunity to ring the same bell, hold the same rope as the one Thomas Jefferson held when he graduated... I was telling that to the porter at the hotel I worked at in Williamsburg and he chortled and said, "Well, Randy, my people were probably the ones that hooked that rope up on that bell." (and then he laughed in the way that told me not to worry about it, but that it meant something to him.)

    thanks for posting the thread, it made me think about things and remember some stuff that is valuable.
     
  3. hannigan

    hannigan Friend of Leo's

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    Ive always thought a museum of bad taste would be fun .

    My home almost qualifies .
     
  4. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Best.

    Answer.

    Yet.
     
  5. Slow Reflexes

    Slow Reflexes Poster Extraordinaire

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    My first thought was, "Ah, the good ol' days."

    Glad I'm not alone.
     
  6. Jef

    Jef Tele-Holic

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    I think PT Barnum's American Museum was first.

    I once saw his coat on display in an exhibition in Brussels.

    It's really the same thing as worshipping saints' relics in the Middle Ages...
    I work in a museum and we have a lot of that stuff in the collections.

    Jef
     
  7. Buckocaster51

    Buckocaster51 Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    At the Northeast Iowa Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Museum, we once had a chance to acquire the door from a Port-a-Pottie used by Jimmy Martin.

    We graciously (we hope) turned down the offer.

    ;)
     
  8. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Everybody that ever grew up in this area remembers seeing this chair innumerable times on school field trips to Greenfield Village/Henry Ford Museum (blood stains not fake) :

    [​IMG]

    For years it was in an old building - outside the museum and not under glass and finally they put it in the main museum but it's really buried - not easy to find.

    They also have the Kennedy limo as well. Older folks are always a little stunned and quiet around that car.
     
  9. brokenjoe

    brokenjoe Friend of Leo's

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    Not a museum, but in some ways, treated like one:

    St. Paul's Cathedral, London.

    It struck me as odd, and extremely hypocritical that they (a church) were selling Horatio Nelson souvenirs -he's buried there- along with images of his lover Emma Hamilton. Nelson was in an adulterous affair with Hamilton, which seems to go against the rules of the building he's laid out in. No pictures of his wife though....

    Oh well... I did buy a lovely pewter beer mug with the Battle of Trafalgar engraved in it. My favorite drinking vessel came from a church!

    Also, almost all of the museums and galleries are free, or pay what you want to, but not St. Paul's. £9. to get in.
     
  10. lewis

    lewis Poster Extraordinaire

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    In D.C. you will find Ford's Theater and on display is the coat Lincoln was wearing when he was shot. Across the street you will see the room where he died.
     
  11. stevieboy

    stevieboy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Recent pic, not a museum exactly, but sort of, and the associated museum is in view. X marks the spot! It's a high traffic street BTW.

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I don't think we need politically correct museums. History isn't pretty, and we shouldn't make it all sunshine and puppies.


    Ever been to the holocaust museum?
     
  13. tpaul

    tpaul Poster Extraordinaire

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    I suspect that many times, the museum simply doesn't have a lot of options on what to exhibit. I mean, sure, Jim Morrison's leather pants would be more appropriate than a shirt he wore as a kid, but if all you have is the shirt, you go with it.
     
  14. hekawi

    hekawi Poster Extraordinaire

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    hey, i thought i saw someone over at the grassy knoll!
     
  15. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    I entirely agree. I would never suggest avoiding the subject, I was just commenting on how it's approached. As I said earlier, I'm less concerned about the exhibit itself than I am about the choice of that particular piece to be the sole representative of it online.

    True enough, though I suspect the RRHOF can lay its hands on almost anything it wants to. Nothing like resources...
     
  16. stevieboy

    stevieboy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well, you can't miss it!

    [​IMG]

    Was it Erica Badu?
     
  17. JohnnyCrash

    JohnnyCrash Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    History aint pretty. Sometimes we're shcoked at first blush before we get to chew things over.

    I'd love to see that exhibit. I'm a fan of Otis. Other fans might not like the exhibit. You dislike the Jim cub scout shirt but I know a few folks who would like to see it.

    Did you ever find a link to Muddy's Tele? We might all have different opinions on the propriety of museum displays, but you've gotta share the Muddy link if you've got it :)
     
  18. henkka

    henkka TDPRI Member

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    How about SRV´s helicopter? Or if it´s gone, why not a heavy relic of a similar model?

    Seriously, I don´t mind most of these things, but the simulated bloodstains I don´t get. Museums should not use props on real stuff, kinda puts the object down in a way.

    Otis´ plane parts I find morbid, perhaps ok in a museum about plane crashes, maybe not in a museum about music. It´s not like Otis´ crash made an impact...woops...had an influence on his music or anything.

    To put my opinion simple, preserving anything is ok when the context is right and the motive is to preserve and educate, not to shock or just generate cash.
     
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