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What do you want in a museum?

By justcurious - 19 July 2011 35

Having read numerous comments on here about how much people dislike the National Museum, I am curious as to what people want the museum to be like?

NB: I DO NOT work at the museum.  I just have an interest in museums in general.

Please post your thoughts on what you would like your National Museum to be like. Please note, I am not asking what you DON’T want it to be 🙂

What’s Your opinion?


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What do you want in a museum?
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BimboGeek 3:04 pm 21 Jul 11

The problem with the museum is all the AV displays.

I thought museums were supposed to display historical artefacts and explain them, not put them in a big shed in Mitchell and display videos about them. Videos would be appropriate for documented events, but I don’t go to museums to watch watered down 2 minute documentaries.

My problem with the “Aboriginal history” part of the museum is that it’s again really superficial. I want to see the different types of technology, cultural art and so on. Play a video of an Aboriginal dance or song, explain what it means, but don’t just do meaningless sound bites and expensive holographic pictures of people dancing.

The colonial stuff is also pretty silly.

Only the more recent stuff is presented in a normal museum kind of way, that’s why people respond better to it.

Classified said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

shirty_bear said :

Henry82 said :

More focus on Australian Inventions and ingenuity.

+1

Henry82 said :

Rangi said :

+1 too overweighted with Aboriginal history

+1

+ 1 more

Which Australian inventions do not have enough prominence?

The ute would be a good example.

I believe it is already featured.

EvanJames said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Which Australian inventions do not have enough prominence?

All of them. Except the boring Aboriginal (alleged) Axe Heads.

Oh, boomerangs?

EvanJames 2:22 pm 21 Jul 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

Which Australian inventions do not have enough prominence?

All of them. Except the boring Aboriginal (alleged) Axe Heads.

Classified 2:14 pm 21 Jul 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

shirty_bear said :

Henry82 said :

More focus on Australian Inventions and ingenuity.

+1

Henry82 said :

Rangi said :

+1 too overweighted with Aboriginal history

+1

+ 1 more

Which Australian inventions do not have enough prominence?

The ute would be a good example.

shirty_bear said :

Henry82 said :

More focus on Australian Inventions and ingenuity.

+1

Henry82 said :

Rangi said :

+1 too overweighted with Aboriginal history

+1

+ 1 more

Which Australian inventions do not have enough prominence?

shirty_bear 11:36 am 21 Jul 11

Henry82 said :

More focus on Australian Inventions and ingenuity.

+1

Henry82 said :

Rangi said :

+1 too overweighted with Aboriginal history

+1

+ 1 more

colourful sydney racing identity said :

dungfungus said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

dungfungus said :

It is too overweighted with Aboriginal history .

Most of this countrys history of human habitation is Aboriginal history. Surely you are not suggesting that the museum should disproportionately focus on the last 200 years?

I have to ask why you think ‘visitors from overseas’ would not be able to understand Aboriginal Australian history????

With respect, the nomadic Aboriginals did not leave any lasting relics of civilisation (such as the Incas did for example) so there is little in history to justify the amount of space and resources at the museum devoted to Aboriginal culture. The history of “AUSTRALIA” over the past 200 years is what overseas tourists I have taken there would prefer to see more of and so would I.
Your comment is a perfect example of the “guilt” syndrone I referred to earlier. It is almost as if some people (like you) want this “need for reconciliation” to continue forever. All the people of Aboriginal descent that I know moved on ages ago.

Please point to the ‘guilt syndrome’ in my post.

Also, given that my first post was a plea for more dinosaurs, is that evidence of ‘guilt syndrome’ over their extinction???

dungfungus said :

colourful sydney racing identity said :

dungfungus said :

It is too overweighted with Aboriginal history .

Most of this countrys history of human habitation is Aboriginal history. Surely you are not suggesting that the museum should disproportionately focus on the last 200 years?

I have to ask why you think ‘visitors from overseas’ would not be able to understand Aboriginal Australian history????

With respect, the nomadic Aboriginals did not leave any lasting relics of civilisation (such as the Incas did for example) so there is little in history to justify the amount of space and resources at the museum devoted to Aboriginal culture. The history of “AUSTRALIA” over the past 200 years is what overseas tourists I have taken there would prefer to see more of and so would I.
Your comment is a perfect example of the “guilt” syndrone I referred to earlier. It is almost as if some people (like you) want this “need for reconciliation” to continue forever. All the people of Aboriginal descent that I know moved on ages ago.

Please point to the ‘guilt syndrome’ in my post.

dungfungus 1:01 pm 20 Jul 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

dungfungus said :

It is too overweighted with Aboriginal history .

Most of this countrys history of human habitation is Aboriginal history. Surely you are not suggesting that the museum should disproportionately focus on the last 200 years?

I have to ask why you think ‘visitors from overseas’ would not be able to understand Aboriginal Australian history????

With respect, the nomadic Aboriginals did not leave any lasting relics of civilisation (such as the Incas did for example) so there is little in history to justify the amount of space and resources at the museum devoted to Aboriginal culture. The history of “AUSTRALIA” over the past 200 years is what overseas tourists I have taken there would prefer to see more of and so would I.
Your comment is a perfect example of the “guilt” syndrone I referred to earlier. It is almost as if some people (like you) want this “need for reconciliation” to continue forever. All the people of Aboriginal descent that I know moved on ages ago.

Mysteryman 12:42 pm 20 Jul 11

colourful sydney racing identity said :

dungfungus said :

It is too overweighted with Aboriginal history .

Most of this countrys history of human habitation is Aboriginal history. Surely you are not suggesting that the museum should disproportionately focus on the last 200 years?

I have to ask why you think ‘visitors from overseas’ would not be able to understand Aboriginal Australian history????

I think the suggestion makes sense but not because of the reasons stated. More information about the last 200-250 years would be appropriate as the greatest amount of change has occurred in that time.

I doubt visitors from overseas would have trouble understanding the indigenous history of Australia.

Classified 12:28 pm 20 Jul 11

I love the old Holden, and the stuff about Australia during the middle of last century. Perhaps some more interesting exhibits from around white settlement through to the end of last century. The Aboriginal stuff is ok, but gets boring because it’s just items in isolation that don’t seem to mean much.

Thumper 12:26 pm 20 Jul 11

Rooms full of “Aboriginal Axe Heads” (shards of rock) are not interesting

Actually, I find them extremely interesting.

However, the museum has taken a particularly strange path in that it does not really show historically important or significant items but more so displays the every day and, in some cases, mundane.

I was involved in some of the early cateloguing of items and the amount of stuff they have is incredible, most proably due to everyone in Australia thinking that their great grandmother’s crockery or hat pins were significant and therefore donated.

Whatever the case, I think the museum, for all its faults, and there are many, has found its niche.

johnboy 12:16 pm 20 Jul 11

Less axeheads and more context might make them more interesting.

EvanJames said :

Rooms full of “Aboriginal Axe Heads” (shards of rock) are not interesting. At all.

You think that is not interesting? I suspect that says more about you than the exhibit.

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