The Onion (a satirical American website) has published this hilarious "news" article about the Metropolitan Museum of Art allowing visitors to touch paintings if they pay membership fees. The picture is particularly great.
All levity aside, though, it does raise the old beast of a question about materiality in museums. Let's face it, people still want to touch certain things! And I have little doubt that if there was actually an option to pay more to look at a painting of one's choice over lunch in the cafeteria, people would take it!
So, in the spirit of the impossible, if you could fondle any object in any museum, which would it be? And how much would you pay for the privilege?
(I want to sleep in the Great Bed of Ware at the V&A - I'd pay up to a thousand pounds for that.)
The Attic (a name which commemorates our first physical location) is, first and foremost, a site for the research students of the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester: a virtual community which aims to include all students, be they campus-based and full-time, or distance-learning and overseas. But we welcome contributions from students of museum studies - and allied subject areas - from outside the School and from around the world. Here you will find a lot of serious stuff, like exhibition and research seminar reviews, conference alerts and calls for papers, but there's also some 'fluff'; the things that inspire, distract and keep us going. After all, while we may be dead serious academic types, we're human too.