What are museums for? Until recently, we could have said their collections are there to remind us of how diverse the human experience of life has been.
And to remind us of two contradictory things: how very different we modern people are to our forebears; and, sometimes shockingly, how similar we are.
Now things have changed. The focus on museum visits today is less on the exhibits and more on the visitors. …
Museum-going has become part of the children’s game of goodies and baddies. And the baddies are the old white guys who started colonies, empires and misogynistic hierarchies; the goodies are us, the modern people who have thrown out the past and all its evils.
But museums have not merely become child-friendly. They have become childish. They infantilise the visitor.
Whatever your views on whether Greece should take back the Parthenon Marbles (pictured), perhaps the finest artefacts made by the hand of Western humanity, they would have been destroyed by acts of war had they remained in Athens
I went recently to the newly refurbished Burrell collection in Glasgow. Sir William Burrell was a businessman in the 19th and 20th centuries who with his wife built up a stupendous assembly of china, paintings, tapestries and stained glass.
In the old Burrell, the labels told you the date of the objects and where they came from. In the new Burrell, you find yourself standing in front of a Renaissance tapestry of a deer-hunt and being asked whether you think it cruel to hunt deer.
Another exhibit in the Burrell is of an exquisite Buddhist goddess, Guanyin. The label no longer concentrates on the exhibit but on the feelings of visitors: ‘Some trans people feel this gender-fluid figure reflects their life experience,’ it reads.
Is this also case of dumbing down? Average IQs have dropped 15 – 20 points since 1880, or about a point a decade. The audience is changing, and the curators are changing.
Postmodernism is so corrupt, turning everything into ruling-class propaganda. Careless with truth -> careless with morals.