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Displays in museums
On Wed, 1 Mar 1995, Stan Friesen wrote:
> With art, all that is lost if the item is removed from the museum
> is the ability of the public to view the item.
Err... Oversimplification. Important art is often historically important,
and some of it is scientifically important as well. And important art is
often much more one-of-a-kind than any fossil can be. There's likely to
be another page in the fossil record, somewhere, sometime . . . but if
something happens to "The Last Supper," we'll never turn over a rock and
find another one.
Not that I am against private ownership of fine art . . .
I don't think the solution is for museums to refuse to display anything
they don't own. But they should be darned careful about what they agree
to display; they should get all the ground rules straight in advance,
and make sure the costs are covered.
A question for the professionals: Is this in the least standardized? Is
there a formal or informal handbook to which curators can refer so they
know what to think about when Edwin Geezer III offers to let them display
his grandfather's antique ivory fantod-case collection?