Challenges and successes of some Mesoamerican exhibits in small university museums around the turn of the 21st century
Author(s): Stephen Whittington
Curating exhibits focused on Mesoamerican archaeology in two small university museums between 1993 and 2013 involved challenges with both similarities to and differences from those involved in curating blockbuster exhibits in large museums. Four exhibits included long-term and short-term installations, as well as traveling versions, and focused on the Maya, West Mexico, and Mesoamerica in general. Challenges were small budgets and staffs, negotiating loans and venues with staffs of other institutions, obtaining reproduction rights, interpreting artifacts lacking good contextual information, and incorporating field and laboratory research results in ways understandable to the public. A disheartening and initially unexpected challenge was overcoming criticism from academic archaeologists about basing exhibits on technically legal collections that archaeologists had not excavated. Despite the challenges, the exhibits were popular with the public, provided opportunities to offer associated lectures and events focused on Mesoamerica, drew attention to the Hudson Museum at the University of Maine and the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University, and were utilized in teaching students from primary grades through graduate school.
Cite this Record
Challenges and successes of some Mesoamerican exhibits in small university museums around the turn of the 21st century. Stephen Whittington. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403975)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;