You may disagree with me, but one trite way of describing early cabinets of curiosities might be that they were forms of interior design: a way of acquiring and arranging possessions to reflect the owners internal and external worlds simultaneously (according to Renaissance ideals of microcosmic-macrocosmic concordance). We all know, I am sure, how much the V&A owes to the Great Exhibition and its ways of seeing. There has also been recent scholarship around Victorian museum architecture and exhibit design and department store models.
I love this quote from the news article:
Patrick Marsh, who helped create exhibits at Universal Studios in Orlando, was brought in as the museum's director of design. "We made a decision quite a few years ago, that we wanted to do it first-class ... as good as you would see at museums or Disney World or Universal Studios," Ham said. "It's become an attraction in its own right, regardless of the message that we have here."
Now, normally, I would be down this man's throat like a rabid pitbull, but since this is a PhD blog, and we are all trying to expand our horizons, I am going to throw out a perhaps-unexpected question. Are Disney World or Universal Studios museums? Why or why not? And following on this, might we not look at the Creation Museum(s) in the same way: a reflection and record of popular culture?
How much of museum work is actually "srs bizns" and how much of it is about striking visual effects whose meaning may or may not be grasped by a lay audience? It's a question that may be equally asked of a Gothic cathedral, so I don't intend to offend. But where do we draw the boundary of the Museum, if we seek to distinguish and define the field? Or should I just change up my ivory tower values for a different set, and apply for a job at Big Valley? What, dear readers, is the point?