Sailor Moon Museum exhibit?

When I first found this article was so excited. 😀 I Don’t know a single 90’s kid that wasn’t influence by some sort of anime in some way or another and if you weren’t then what’s wrong with you. But as a nerd I’m super, extra, excited to see an exhibit like this but the historian and museum student in me is iffy about the significance of an exhibit like this. Granted it’s a great way to boast visitor numbers and get people interested in museums but at what cost? Museums are suppose to be places of higher learning available to the public. As much as I find this interesting this is just another example of museums becoming catering more to tourism and the public rather than education. But I’d like to think that maybe something good can come out of an exhibit like this and hopefully visitors can gain something meaningful besides a pretty Sailor Moon souvenir. Who knows maybe one day someone will make a superhero museum.

5 thoughts on “Sailor Moon Museum exhibit?

  1. The Sailor Moon exhibit will be in the Mori Art Museum (actually on top of it), and as anime is one of Japan’s major art forms, and is a huge part of pop culture globally, why wouldn’t it make sense from an art or material culture standpoint to have this exhibit? In comparison, would an exhibit at an American art museum showing a collection of Disney art through the decades be just for tourists or would their be real value?

    Are museums supposed to only be places of higher learning? Is their purpose only education or can they be places for inspiration and conversation? And if you hold that education is indeed the only purpose… then couldn’t the Sailor Moon exhibit, chronicling changes over time in graphic art styles, or impact on Japanese culture and economy, be more than just a gimmick to get visitors or sale trinkets? At the very least, collections can teach us about ourselves even if all we learned is that we do or do not like what is on display. They can teach us about those who curated them (why were these objects chosen; why were these groups of objects placed together?) They can capture a moment in time, compare one moment with another, and they can just be beautiful, or moving, or thought provoking. Our job isn’t to always give the people what we think is important… but sometimes to give them what THEY think is important.

    Superhero museum? Imagine what that could say about American culture, and American history (almost 80 years of historical context hidden between the pages of comic books… Superman debuted in 1938). What I wouldn’t give to be part of that.


  2. While in Seattle over Thanksgiving, I visited the EMP Museum, which is a music, pop-culture, and sci-fi museum in downtown. One of their traveling exhibits was originally from Japan and was on the history of Hello Kitty. I didn’t spend much time in it, because I don’t have much knowledge of Hello Kitty (nor do I have much knowledge of Sailor Moon or anime). But it was a very impressive exhibit that drew a large crowd, and was put in a museum whose mission fit perfectly with the theme of this exhibit. As Marick noted, this Sailor Moon exhibit is in the Mori Art Museum, which is in the Mori Tower that also includes office space, retail stores, and tourist attractions. It seems to be a fairly progressive museum with many different styles of art on display. It definitely depends on the location, but I think this exhibit makes absolute sense in this museum and in Tokyo. I wonder if it will come to the EMP Museum as well!


  3. I understand that museums are considered to be a places for higher learning but that does not mean that cannot be a place for luxury. I think that museums could walk the fine line of being a luxuries and higher learning center for the visitors. I personal think that having an exhibit on anime would be an awesome idea for several reasons. Also I think if the museum could show the history of Japanese anime and its impact on American culture its shows the ability of teaching which would connect to the exhibit being a tool of luxury. That’s my thought on the entire thing.


  4. I think that Pop Culture is a great way to get people through the doors of a museum. People can come for something cute and interesting and see something else while they are there. FYI – the Greensboro Children’s Museum is busy working on their PEZ collection (which I may or may not be loaning items to).

    Marick – I would gladly work at the Superhero Museum with you!


  5. And there is a superhero museum:

    …as well as both a cat museum, and a PEZ museum in San Francisco; a lunch box museum in Atlanta; and in Minneapolis you can stop by the SPAM museum for a tasty (???) treat and a history lesson on SPAM’s role in World War II. In Alaska go see the hammer museum… Ohio has a popcorn museum… and there’s a UFO museum in where else but Roswell, NM.

    I think we have a very debatable issue here with excellent points of view on both sides. What is a museum? If I have a collection of whatevers and put them in a venue and say it’s a museum… is it a museum? If 99% of the nation thinks it’s trash, and 1% thinks the museum validates what they think is important… then is it a museum or a tourist destination?

    All of the skills we are acquiring could be used in jobs at the Smithsonian, or the NC Museum of History. The same skills would be required in… yes… the Trash Museum in Hartford CT to make it a successful and educational source on how humans have dealt with one of the real consequences of existence. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure…where do we draw the line?


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