This week I opted for skimming the week’s chapters in Museum Politics. I read the parts that interested me about the history of each museum’s inception and about the exhibits. When Luke started sounding too forceful or negative I quickly jumped ahead. Last week I felt like Luke was a movie critic. He purports to love museums but certainly makes one wonder. I realized this week I was choosing to approach Luke’s museum choices my way. I want to visit them and have my own experience and make my own decisions about what I think of them. I understand that what I get to see and experience often has a political backstory, but I can choose if that curbs my interest or not. I wonder what Luke would think if he knew that this week I only wanted to glean the entertaining parts of his writing.
In 1979 I took a course at my college in Portland taught by a Rabbi about the Holocaust. In the summer of 1983 when I visited a friend who lived in Munich we went to the Dachau concentration camp site. When I lived in New York City in the 1980s I knew a woman who was working with a group on the beginning ideas for the Museum of Jewish Heritage. I haven’t had a chance to see the Holocaust Museum in D.C. or the Museum of Tolerance, but they are of great interest to me. I am grateful for their websites and am annoyed by Luke’s description of a “theme park about genocide”
I have been to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum on a few occasions. I visited with my uncle and cousin who are both biologists. I cherish my time with them seeing things through their eyes and their passion for the beauty of the desert. I visited the Mitchell Park Conservatory in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where the Botanical Garden is housed in 3 geodesic domes each with a different climate. How cool for people to be able to visit a desert or the tropics in the crazy cold northern U.S. The New York and Brooklyn Botanical Gardens were oases for me from the concrete of the city. The Missouri Botanical Garden sounds no less spectacular. Hurray for florapower!