Critique on the Article the Future of Museums


This article was very interesting on raising questions that we have been discussing over the semester when having to do with the future of how museums are going to operate. Constantly in class we have discussed what should museums do to help people participate, interact, and learn from museums. Time after time again we keep circling over the same answer we said make museums interactive. People learn more when they are able to be feel and touch.


The article mainly points out the easiest way to do this is through the digital world. It shows examples of art galleries and other museums that have been so proactive in the media and have maintained to be so relevant. The article brings up that it is a struggle to fully attain the identity of a museum when it has been publicly opened to the change that medias come with, “at the same time retain their expertise and authority as guardians of our culture and heritage.”


However I do not agree with the way that article says the museums are and should change. Instead I think that we as a class came up with a pretty good rubric of how museums should change if they are going to change due to the digital age. We also talked about the disconnect between the public and museums and we came up with a list of how to regain that connection:


1) Relate to the visitor explain


2) Information is not interpretation, interpretation is revelation through information. We need to able to discuss the information in a way that anyone can understand it


3) Interpretation is an art it is hard but can be accomplished by skilled individuals


4) The chief aim of interpretation is not instruction but provocation. Learning is best learned when provoked to learn there has to be an excitement there for it.


5) A whole rather than a part and address a whole person rather than a phase. Remind people of the bigger picture that is taking place and relate it to whatever is being addressed.


6) Interpretation to children should not be a dilution but a fundamentally different approach.


I believe that following the rubric that we set up museums can change and maintain their identities of guardians of culture. If they follow this and still use social medias then there is a good chance some of that identity won’t be lost.





9/11 Memorial Museum

Thirteen years, ten days, and twelve hours ago.

Four planes, three buildings, and three thousand people later.

Three states, two cities, and one nation affected.

Women, men, children, babies, wives, husbands, sisters, brothers, mothers, fathers, newly weds, recently engaged, uncles, aunts, grandmas, grandpas, family, friends, colleagues, and acquaintances dead. ll     I never felt such deep sadness, grief, anguish and heartbreak until I went to the 9/11 Memorial Museum. I went in not knowing what to expect and exited in complete disarray.

Upon entering the museum I walked down a flight of stairs with pictures of the Twin Towers being built. From there everything just started to blend together, but I do remember distinct sections. Among the structures presented from the remains of the towers was the “Survivors’ Stairs”. This stairwell served as an important escape route for many people that day. Most of the damage seen in the photo below was actually due to the recovery period not the attack itself.

“The stairway provides a powerful reference to the survivors’ story as well as a commemoration of the recovery period.”

Top half of the “Survivors’ Stairs”

Bottom half of “Survivors’ Stairs”

In memory of the victims of 9/11 (and also the bombing in 1993) a wall in the exhibit In Memoriam is covered with pictures of those whose lives were lost. There are interactive screens where you can click on someone’s picture and information (if available) pops up. In the middle of the room are artifacts of a few of the victims such as I.D’s, wallets, and even personal belongings that the family donated to the museum.

Another dedication to the victims is a giant quilt made by dozens of people after the attack. The quilt contains pictures of those who perished on the flights, in the towers, in the Pentagon, and the rescue teams.

Remembrance quilt

The last part of the museum contained the most emotional part of it all: the phone call recordings and the images of people choosing to jump to their death. I don’t even know if I can describe the remorse I felt for the victims and their families. Hearing loved ones call to say their final goodbye, to hear their voices one last time, to say how much they love each other, it was a precious moment. Thinking about losing my family is heartbreaking enough, losing them so suddenly and horribly is something I can’t even imagine. You can hear a few of the phone calls here, but just as a warning grab a box of tissues. I will spare you the pictures of the dozen men and women who decided to jump.

“Mark, this is your mom…the news is it’s hijacked by terrorists.”

If you visit New York City the 9/11 Memorial Museum should be on your itinerary. I promise it is worth the visit.

Spencer Finch’s Trying to Remember the Color on That September Morning (2014) consists of 2,983 attempts to replicate in watercolor the shade of blue of the sky on September 11th, one sheet of paper per life lost.

Spencer Finch’s Trying to Remember the Color on That September Morning (2014) This piece consists of 2,983 attempts (in watercolor) to replicate the shade of the blue sky on September 11th – one sheet of paper per life lost.