Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
Hidden Treasures: What Museums Can't Or Won't Show You Paperback – October 1, 2013
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Ken Arnold, Head of Public Programs at the Wellcome Collection in London
About the Author
Top customer reviews
While the space issue is beginning to be addressed with renovations and expansions to museums around the world, the preservation one to me is most interesting. With all the advances in science and technology, it’s crazy to think there haven’t been more advances in preservation techniques in order to be better able to display some of these true treasures. And to be honest, I never thought about the safety piece. Museum curators sure face a number of unexpected challenges in planning their exhibits. To that end, Ken Arnold at the Wellcome Center in London had some interesting thoughts:
“One of the great myths of the museum world is that we should perpetually strive to put as much of our collections on show for as long as we can,” says Arnold. “My sense instead is that one of the most important roles of the museum is precisely the opposite: namely to keep safe material that is off display and at rest, so that it can then be rediscovered and reinterpreted afresh when it has had a chance, if you like, to recharge its batteries.”
While I do agree with him, I also think there’s a happy middle ground between never showing the item(s) and risking their survival and I truly hope that can be found.
A nice surprise in reading this book was learning about more museums/topics. I know the NYC museum landscape fairly well, and to some extent I know the major east coast museums. But there are so many museums about which I had no clue and can’t wait to see eventually. Overall, a really good read/guidebook to some of the US & London’s best museums.
With a proper mix of pictures, ample captions and general copy, Baskas has written one of the great bathroom books. Each bit is east to read, and never overwhelms the reader with data. However, there's enough to chew on for, as they say, more than one sitting.
Learn why certain things cannot be shown (more reasons than I guessed). Read about odd museums or the odd things in ordinary museums. This isn't the back room of the Smithsonian. There’s much more than that.
Kurt Cobain’s hat. A giant pig. Dan Boone’s gun. Livingstone Medical Chest, which really wasn’t owned by the famous doctor. A paper mache President Nixon. You get the idea.
Here are a few items to give a flavor. The P.T. Barnum museum has a piece of wedding cake from the Tom Thumb wedding (1863), one of Barnum's publicity events. The Honolulu Museum of Art has a fine collection of Japanese block prints, but won't exhibit the portion that is erotica. The Field Museum in Chicago discontinued a display of sculptures by Malina Hoffman (hope that name is correct, 1885-1966) titled the Races of Man, and now seems to exhibit some as art (this one was of interest, my first job was as an assistant to the Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology there, long long ago). The Corning Museum has a glass coffin.
And Harvard, which ought to have museum space, doesn't exhibit glass sculptures of animals by the father/son Blaschka team famous for glass sculptures of flowers. The example show in the book, a jellyfish, is simply remarkable.
This is a quick read, maybe an hour or so. You'll learn a little about museums, and come to understand how many there are and how many different kinds. There must be thousands of them.