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Occasional Museum Picture #8

Musée d'Orsay

Normally you would be looking at all the interesting objects that are inside the museum. And the Musée d’Orsay in Paris for sure has some impressive objects to look at. However, the look outside from within what is now a museum, but used to be a railway station, through the glass-face of a gigantic clock towards the Sacré Coeur, is no less fascinating.

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Occasional Museum Picture #6

According to sociologists, such as Anthony Giddens and others, modernity is characterized by its reflexivity. Here is a self-reflexive museum for you: the Cité de Sciences in Parc de la Villette, Paris, reflecting itself in the silver dome of its own IMAX movie theatre. To be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed by the science … Read more

The museum as Public Domain

Today I attended the conference ”Sharing is caring – digital cultural heritage for all”. Lots of interesting presentations and discussions about how museums can – and should – use digital media, to make their collections more accessible, and to turn their audience into participants.

To do this we of course have to overcome technical obstacles. But probably even more organizational and even mental obstacles. And then there are all the issues raised by copyright and digital rights management. During the discussions of concepts such as Creative Commons and Public Domain, I got a sense of déjà vu. Suddenly it occurred to me: the museum as institution is inherently Public Domain.

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Occasional Museum Picture #5

Vaserely was born in Hungary, but lived most of his life in France, so it’s not surprising that his museum is to be found in Aix-en-Provence. Even if you’re not into op-art – which I’m not particularly – the building and the artwork form a fascinating gesamtkunstwerk. I like this particular picture, because of the … Read more

Occasional Museum Picture #3

What’s in a life? Well, medicine, for instance. Like in this fascinating installation by Pharmacopoeia in British Museum. It shows the number of pills, swallowed through lifetime, by too different persons – supplemented by pictures, letters and other reminiscences of their lives. A moving and thought-provoking cross-over between art and ethnography.