Museums views of Commemoration

Mateja Kovacic, The Conservation, 2018, Smithsonian.com,https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/what-will-automated-city/future-look-like-180968760/ ,Accessed 23 July 2019.

Hansen-Glucklich describes the permanent exhibition of the USHMM by describing a photo mural in depth and highlighting the devastatingly gory details that occurred in the Jewish Auschwitz of Salonkia and Greece. That surround this mural. This mural depicts four men with seventy-two smaller, identically sized rectangular photographs of bare forearms. These bare fore arms represent the seventy-two Holocaust victims of the Jewish Auschwitz of Salonkia. These arms are the only remnants of these seventy-two victims. Hansen-Glucklich completes whether or not this presentation encourages views of the museums and readers of this article to look repeatedly at atrocity photographs? Hansen-Glucklich believes this ties in with how Philip Gourevitch, an American journalist of the New Yorker, points out that violence has overtaken the museum style. Many artifacts, images, objects, and photographs etc. makeup the permanent exhibitions of the USHMM, Yah Vashem, and the Museum Berlin. Hansen-Glucklich analyzes how the museum display enhances ways of visualizing and remembering the devastation that the Jewish prisoners had to face. Hansen-Glucklich also looks at the issues that surrounded and concerned the scholarly engagement of the Holocaust displays and styles. Hansen-Glucklich concludes that these exhibitions in museums create a frame that shape the view of visitors. Moreover, Hansen-Glucklich argues that little details like parts of speech of reads at the exhibits impact the overall meaning of an exhibit. Creative visual and Acoustic techniques encourage an important interaction between viewers and the object on display. That leaves a more thoughtful and  self-reflective approach to Holocaust remembrance.

Beasly begins his article a similar way in which Hansen-Glucklich begins his article through highlighting that museums are able to create perspectives and stories of the events that are depicted in their exhibitions. Beasly offers an additional perspective other than a view created by the museum curator on the exhibitions and the events that occurred depicted in them through her background as an architect and creator of cities. Beasly highlights her skill of providing a perspective as a city of a planner through asking and encouraging the viewer to imagine if one could transform a 21st Century streetscape into its 19th Century from so that people could visualize and experience the reality of over a Century earlier. In Bealsy’s opinion and I agree this visualization of a real street in its typical setting would be more powerful than all of the exhibits combined. It would also be fascinating and get for innovation to see an imagined streetscape that is in the future in a century or centuries for now. Bealsy’s main point that the “city museum cane as much about urban creation as it is about curation” (10).  She believes that in the future that the city museum could be a central player in the creation of connecting its citizens with the city and redefining it for them. She envisions a plan in which “If the museum of the city your museum could become the “museum as city” and the “city as museum”,”(10) that would allow for the forces of “building urban connoisseurship and choreographing the ongoing re-invention of the city” (10).       

Weiner argues that while the Dutch have recently begun to address their history of enslavement, they have not fully addressed how the generations of slavery continue to effect the lives of the new Afro-Dutch legacies of Africans and White Dutch Netherlands of today. Weiner utilizes scholarly articles and journals to analyze and assert claims and opinions on the Netherland’s role on slave trade and enslavement, and the commemoration of slavery in all Dutch primary school history textbooks from 1980 to answer questions regarding whether or not textbooks discuss colonialism to sustain The Netherlands putting slavery behind them and denying the existence of race inequality even though it is still persist today. Weiner argues that a narrative that is written towards the view that a European would expect and/or want to read helps sustain the forgetting of slavery and colonialism to keep themselves in line with other European nations and appear as though their role in slavery was minimal. Weiner argues and I agree that the way in which European nations create a perspective for their viewer in their readers is the view that it will leave on its reads especially adolescents and high schoolers who read their textbooks. Specifically, this impacts their view concerning racial minorities, racial identities, and ideologies. Finally, Weiner concludes that the Dutch textbooks of today sustain white racial ideologies to racialize White and Afro-Dutch people which probably contributes to The Netherlands socioeconomic racial hierarchy and lack of social activism to address racial inequalities.  

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2 thoughts on “Museums views of Commemoration

  1. Hi Claire! You do a great job summarizing the articles here! I agree with you and Beasley, that the “visualization of a real street in its typical setting would be more powerful than all of the exhibits combined.” This reminds me somewhat of how they constructed the new Freedom Tower and the 9/11 memorial — when you take the elevator up to the top, the history of the World Trade Center towers is projected on all four of the elevator walls and you feel as though you are apart of the history. I found this experience incredibly power and physically being there/fully immersed in the experience made it all the more impactful. Additionally, I think walking down a street that had been curated to look like a scene from the 1800s would also prove more impactful than learning about cityscape in the 1800s from a textbook. Looking at your post then all three of these readings, I really appreciate the different methods and techniques for preserving history. How much can a textbook really convey on it’s own, how does one’s writing shape our understanding? Museum’s often takes many objects out of their natural setting and group them together/designed in particular way in order to convey meaning. A city as a museum presents a different method of looking at history in a natural setting.

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  2. Hi Claire! I think you’re completely right about exhibitions framing the way that people see what’s on display—when I was reading the Hansen-Glucklich reading this week, I kept thinking of museums as kind of publishers (if that makes sense). They’re basically a platform for this content, and the way in which they present it to the public is going to change how it’s seen. I feel like there’s a similar sort of platform structure influence in magazines or with the algorithms that decide where and how different content appears on a social media site.

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