Community Centers

We have spent most of the semester discussing the need for museums to become more centered around the community. This article from the Smithsonian is a perfect example of how a museum can reach out to the community. Understanding the depth with which Prince’s death has affected the community, the Smithsonian had decided to place his yellow electric guitar on display from now until Labor Day. By doing this, the Smithsonian is providing an avenue for the community to gather and commemorate a music icon.

NMAH-94-1824

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6 thoughts on “Community Centers

  1. Exactly! It makes me imagine an exhibit space where every day you wake up, listen to the news, and quickly generate new content (graphics, quotes, an artifact if you happen to have one laying around) that makes the space sensative, timely, and pertinent to the lives of visitor.

    If I were touring the Smithsonian today and came across the “yellow cloud”… I would be moved.

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  2. A museum’s function as a space for memorializing and commemorating seems understated. I think it is often taken for granted that museums can be places of healing and remembrance. How many donors give artifacts that once belonged to loved ones? In every display case the threads of memory are etched in exhibit panels that have a deep meaning to particular individuals. The Smithsonian article really brought that back into focus. Last semester we all dealt with objects in our Collections class that meant something to our donors. No matter our gripes (I’m looking at you nutmeg grinder) we have to remember our duty as stewards of memory.

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    • “Stewards of Memory”… how poetic. When you think about this duty, coupled with what we’ve learned about the public trusting museums to deliver the truth more so than other institutions… it really is a huge responsibility.

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  3. Well first off I think this is an amazing guitar. Second having a piece like this a great way for people to connect and share memories with others. Music is a great way to bring all sorts of people together. Plus a guitar like this will also bring in lots of musicians who will possibly analyze and talk about Prince’s music along with visual artists who possibly admire the beauty and design of the guitar.

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    • I completely agree with you Jess. This was a great decision on the museum’s part. There is a reason why music is referred to as the universal language.

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