27 July 2010

Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

This is why we went on this trip in the first place.
Lincoln Museum people, if you're reading this: I regret having taken pictures where they weren't allowed, but I did it discreetly and without using a flash, because otherwise how could I have illustrated this blog post?  And how could I have idea-mined, which is what all museum people do when they go to other museums?
Ultimately, my impression?  It was, at times, way too literal and really over-designed.

Sometimes, that over-design was cool:
Political cartoons from Lincoln's presidency
Other times, it was way too much -- in the case of this diorama of Lincoln with his cabinet, deciding when to release the Emancipation Proclamation:
My mind immediately associated it with the worst wax museum I've ever been to, the Museo delle Cere on Piazza Venezia in Rome:
Mussolini's Last Fascist Council, in wax.
I'd heard the accusations of edutainment, and honestly, I'd second them.  It was exciting, and there's a fine line between being intellectually rigorous, informative, and boring, but I'd do more of letting the objects speak for themselves and let history come alive that way instead of Harry Potter-inspired dramatics - I guess that's where I prefer to err in exhibits, and where my preference lies.

No comments: