A comparison of how two museums present African Art. (Museums in NYC)

Essay by speeddemon82101Junior High, 9th gradeA+, April 2004

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Which Exhibit do you feel was the most appropriate, inspiring, effective and interesting? Since the question refers to my personal feelings, I say that the Museum of Natural History (MNH) best fits the description. To support my answer it is necessary to first compare the two museums to the point and see where the MNH held the edge. Even before comparing let us identify the goal of the two museums. The MNH uses artifacts belonging to several tribes to express their complex culture. In expressing the various cultures the MNH focuses on the diversity, complexity and ingenuity of the cultures. The Brooklyn Museum of Art (BMA) sees the artifacts as a thing of beauty. This presents a problem in that the artifacts might not have been art but rather everyday items.

In comparing presentation styles there are six aspects to consider. The six aspects are case display, atmosphere, lighting, coloring, sound and extra effort.

The case display aspect is enough for us to determine which museum was more appropriate. The MNH displayed its cases in random order and most of the cases were against the wall while some were centralized like the dioramas. Groups of cases were separated into sections depending on the region of origin. Each individual case contained within it artifacts of one certain tribe. Some cases even went further and focused on specific aspects such as agriculture of one tribe. An example of such specification would be the Pokot display case. The large display case was broken into sections of hunting and agriculture. Within every display case the several artifacts were evenly distributed and this suggests that they all had equal importance. The BMA followed a very different guideline when organizing their display cases. They did not try to group the cases into any order...