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Re: Museology II

I dunno.  Living in California means ALL dinosaur mounts I've seen were
casts.  We have earthquakes you know....

Matthew Celeskey wrote:
> While I understand the scientific necessity of exhibiting casts, I have
> to disagree that they have the same impact as mounts. Even the best cast
> mounts pale in comparison to the presence of real bone on display, no
> matter how shellacked, painted or plaster-filled. Real bone has a
> palpability and sanctity that makes a cast seem unbelievably fake.
> Compare the AMNH _Barosaurus_ cast, dramatic as it may be, to exhibits
> like the _Saurolophus_ in the Ornithischian hall, panel mounted with
> anatomical abbreviations *painted* on the fossil. It might be a perverse
> thrill on my part, but I think it enhances the visitor's experience to
> believe that, in some cases, the science of a specimen has been
> sacrificed for public edification. If I can see how the researchers have
> access to a fossil, knowing that someday I might come back to see a sign
> that says "Specimen Temporarily Off Exhibit", even though I can justify
> it in my mind I still feel somehow cheated. And even though most fossil
> mounts are heavily reconstructed, I'm more inclined to believe the
> presentation of real material, with plastic-looking casts I always have
> doubts as to how valid the presentation is.

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