The quotable museum

By popular demand: the quotes from my United States Naval Lyceum research that I’ve been tweeting the last week or two:

Museum review, 1819: Scudders Museum, New York:  “the most revolting figures in wax…prodigies of absurdity and bad taste”

1835: Free access to an excellent library, and…to the collections of specimens of nature and art will…polish and adorn the mind.”

1855: the joy of working in a #museum comes from “the pleasure of observing the impressions which visitors severally receive.”

What is a museum, 1855? “a well-known place of resort… where beauty and valor, where learning and wit, where labor and skill meet”

Qualities of a curator, 1855: “In combination with patriotism and enterprise, prudent forethought is required”

Qualifications for a #curator, 1871: “historic and antiquarian pursuits, literary tastes, and cordial and urbane manners”

1866: [The] erection and maintenance of a Museum …  involves an enormous expenditure and never-ceasing labor, care, and anxiety.”

1945: A museum, until a few years ago, was almost universally thought of as a place exhibiting antiquarian objects, mostly uninteresting surrounded by a background of old age, cobwebs, and superannuated persons in charge.

1945: “Today  the directors, as well as the curators, of our largest museums are among the best trained and paid in the professional world.”

(References on request. Or check out my zotero site.)


1 Comment


    1. Scholarly Research and Writing in the Digital Age – Steven Lubar on public humanities

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