Yesterday's long winded musings were in response to a challenge I got from some of my UK archeology pals. It was all about blogging and museums, and if such things interest you back track to HERE
Now, my questions on the topic. For anyone interested I suppose.
1. Given that museums recall The Muses, who gave inspiration, how can you tell the difference between a real Museum and a bunch of random crap? That shambling guy in a trench coat who spends 50 years collecting and arranging chewing gum wrappers is just a nut, isn't he? Or does the degree of artistic arrangement make the difference?
2. It seems as if the association between The Muses as a source of inspiration and the original Museum as it relates to the Great Library of Alexandria is a bit accidental. How would our modern Museums look today if the scholars of Alexandria had chosen instead to base their Library not around the local shrine to The Muses but instead around:
-Their favorite wine shop?*
-or perhaps down the road a few centuries, the early Christian community of Alexandria?
3. What would have happened if the Great Library had early "corporate sponsorship" say by the local maker of garum (fermented fish sauce). Not entirely far fetched, the Library actively worked with merchants and seafarers to collect the books of the world. Would modern museums be less like temples? And would they smell like anchovies?
4. Is it necessary for a museum to physically display objects. Or to put it another way, is a "virtual museum" an oxymoron? We are comfortable with libraries existing entirely on line. But how about a museum? (note of course that it is probably easier to fake writings than to photoshop artifacts, but neither process is all that difficult). Do we need to be physically in the presence of a painting or a gladius or a stegosaurus to relate to it?
I think that is only six or seven questions but it looks sufficient to perplex and inspire folks. I may send a specific email to the marvelous RoadsideAmerica site but beyond that I declare it open season.....
*Ooooh, I know the answer to this one: