Considerations For Finding Art Pieces Or Artifacts For A Museum Historical Importance Versus Revenue

843 words - 3 pages

It is challenging to decide which is of greater importance when finding art pieces or artifacts for a museum: the historical import or the profit margin. For some, cost-effectiveness or revenue produced in future by marketing replicas will be a priority, but for others historical importance and representativeness of the real historical article will be more important. The discernment between buying the work of a young artist with great promise at the expense of a classic art piece being put away or sold, in reference to which decision would be more worthwhile for future generations, is extremely difficult. There are many different priorities, but they should be historical significance, historical representativeness, common sense and, finally, the marketability of the product.
If the marketability of a product is high, there is a chance that the historical value and artistic value were not in the first place. The historical value is often placed on the uniqueness of an object, the rarer it is, the more expensive it is, and the more willing historians will be to protect it. For example, if there were 52,000 soldier uniforms left over from World War 2, but only 10 left from World War 1, the significance in a museum would be placed on protecting the few left from World War 1. Theobald in [Source D] states, “If the shop’s only reason for being is money, then the museum is operating a gift shop.” From previous experience, “trinkets” or “treasures” oft found in gift shops have little or no historical or artistic value. The cause of this lack of value and uniqueness is because of easy replication of the item, which is often mass-produced like the souvenir artifacts mentioned in [Source D]. If there are to be 5,000 replicas of Van Gough’s sunflowers that look as good as the original painting, what then makes the original masterpiece so unique and special?
Accuracy in depiction of historical display also needs to be carefully considered while setting up a museum. Huxtable, from [Source E] has a valid point when she argues that the Colonial Williamsburg reenactment is too “sterilized.” The recreated town does indeed lack the filth, squalor and oppression of a colonial town, but the town does convey some of the cultural essence. Today’s cities are “the gritty accumulation of the best and worst we have produced,” and we know this well. What if in future someone recreated a ‘21st-Century New York,’ but left out the Projects or the...

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