Art History Ethics
#3 – Museum Exhibitions
We have looked at the exhibition “The Last Day of Pompeii”, which has been traveling around the world for several years. We call this style of exhibition a Blockbuster Exhibition. In 1996 the term blockbuster exhibition was used to describe “big, popular, money making showcases that deliver powerful impact and ultimately become a source of direct and indirect revenue, visibility and prestige for museums around the world”.
The first of these blockbuster exhibitions was the “Treasures of Tutankhamun”. Other ancient blockbusters have included “Ramesses the Great”, and “The Etruscans: Legacy of a Lost Civilization” to name a few. In more recent years we have seen several very controversial blockbuster exhibitions such as “Body Worlds”, “Princess Diana Car Crash Exhibition”, and of course “The Last Day of Pompeii”.
Focusing on ancient exhibitions and ancient cultures my question to you is: Do these exhibitions do justice to the ancient culture that they reflect or do they contradict the cultures beliefs? In answer this questions I would like you to pick at least 2 exhibitions that prove your point.
CITE YOUR SOURCES
Things to think about:
Beliefs and traditions of different ancient cultures
How the exhibition is set up/displayed
Who is the targeted audience
Think of the definition of a blockbuster exhibition
Importance of education
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