NAIM, National Museum

Decent Essays
United States history is fallacious. In fact, despite the famous saying that all men are created equal, the government slaughtered an estimated 15 to 80 million Native Americans to make room for the exponentially increasing population of the United States. If all men were created equal, then why were they brutally murdered by the government? Similarly, the United States had a hand the Holocaust, another genocide. One example being that the United States did not grant the SS St. Louis, a ship which carried European Holocaust survivors refuge. Thus sentencing the weary passengers to death, forcing them to travel back to Europe where two thirds of the ship perished in concentration camps (insert citation). Interestingly, the United States’ involvement…show more content…
Edward Linenthal, an expert in religion and American history, offers examples of such elements, like how “Slanted glass…[was used] in exhibit cases to draw visitors in…” and that “…walls were not painted, pipes were left exposed…” (Linenthal 170). Everything about the design was intentional; both the industrial aesthetic and the slanted glass help set the stage for the heart wrenching narrative of how a broken country allowed millions to be slaughtered, creating a vessel which serves to preserve and educate viewers about what…show more content…
Interestingly, the building is similar to a tepee in that there was a small window on the top of the rounded celling. Even the elevator was spacious and adorned with tribal symbols. Therefore, before one even enters the exhibit, it is clear that the narrative is one that celebrates culture. Even Atalay, a Native American author recognizes that “… the NMAI aims to ‘recognize and affirm’… Native cultures… and [advance] knowledge and understanding of those cultures” (Atalay 600). Thus creating a sharp contrast from that of the Holocaust. Despite the hardships and the genocide which befell the Native Americans, this museum has a different narrative to preserve, one rich with culture, rather than brutality. The differences displayed in architecture and design help effectively deliver each narrative because they visually and psychologically affect each visitor, adding a deeper layer to the story, effectively conveying each
Get Access