Narratives in Museums

Thomas P Campbell: Weaving narratives in museum galleries in Mar 2012 at TED2012. He is the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Thomas’ TED talk made me reflect on the core mission of a museum and what it is. About getting face-to-face experience with an object. I am currently reading “Infinite Possibility” by Pine and Korn and getting excited about the different ways the multiverse that they write about will help museums create more value for visitors. Below are some of Thomas’ comments I found most interesting as challenges for what digital should be creating new value for.

He wanted us to use our eyes . . . He wanted us to look and ask basic questions of objects. What is it? How is it made? Why was it made? How is it used?

We had to draw our audience in, get them to slow down, to explore the objects.

I believe passionately in that curated museum experience. We live in an age of ubiquitous information and sort of “just add water” expertise, but there’s nothing that compares with the presentation of significant objects in a well-told narrative, what the curator does, the interpretation of a complex, esoteric subject, in a way that retains the integrity of the subject, that makes it — unpacks it for a general audience.

How can I support the vision of my curators . . .

. . .create a zone where their curiosity can expand



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