Every museum has an object that has a story to tell to the visitors. Collecting institutions will

1100 Words Apr 23rd, 2019 5 Pages
Every museum has an object that has a story to tell to the visitors. Collecting institutions will often spend more time, energy, and money caring for the objects that visitors do not see than the institutions spend on the public exhibits. (Moses, 1) These objects, whether displayed in exhibits or in storage hidden from the public view, are instilled with meaning, as the objects “tell us who we are as individuals and as a society” and “connect us with our past.” (Moses, 2) However, while collecting institutions, whether big or small, can present and collect objects that resemble and define who we are as a society, institutions will constantly face internal and external struggles that will define how an institution not only presents the …show more content…
Nancy Moses’ main argument is that each collecting institution must continually struggle to remain relevant to the local community. In the first chapter, Nancy Moses discusses the Audubon birds at the Academy of Natural Science in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She describes the Academy’s struggles, which centers around its appearance to the public as a natural science museum, when it is actually a research center with a museum attached to the center. The museum includes dated exhibits that show considerable neglect. (Moses, 21) The Academy was able to safely store the Audubon birds and other objects, but the Academy was unable to successfully maintain and preserve the objects financially. This led to the Academy’s second problem. The Academy had chronic and escalating problems with money because none of the three divisions within the Academy generated enough money to support their work. (Moses, 22) To combat the financial problem, the Academy’s board voted to sell more than 15,000 of their minerals and gems that had never been previously displayed, and use the proceeds to support their library. (Moses, 22) The Academy wanted to continue to remain a research center and believed that by selling their objects, they were meeting the needs and wants of the

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