To be honest, when we went to AMNH this time I could not observe the two questions. (Observing how long people stand in front of the each exhibition and listening to their talk. ) But I will try this week when I visit AMNH again and I will update more.
I had a chance to work in the Exhibition department during the summer vacation, and I realized a couple of things that I didn’t notice before.
Obviously, there are lots of family visitors from all over the world. but also I noticed there are lots of nannies and children are coming. They normally come very early like before opening time, because they do not need to wait for a queue in the early morning. They spent a short time in the museum, and around lunchtime, they also bring the children the water fountain and have a lunch. I guess they are not much interested in the museum contents and seem like they visit very often. Nannys and children need larger and playful space to play outside. Maybe it is also we need to consider the role of public spaces of the museums.
In AMNH, there are a couple of special exhibitions in a year. I visited one of the special exhibitions this year called ‘iCuba’. Even though AMNH’s general ticket is the Pay-what-you-wish admission, those special exhibition admissions required a certain amount of money to get into. It makes people more to stay in the exhibitions and to see the exhibitions more thoughtfully.
<Field Trip at AMNH>
Because of this field trip, I changed my mind and started to consider again the traditional purpose of museums. I always more focus on presenting the contents to the visitors for explaining and delivering information. On the other hand, the other important role of museums is to collect objects and materials of cultural, and historical importance, and ‘research’ into them. Even I have worked for a few months, I did not notice that there are lots of research departments and laboratories in the museum. And I was impressed the researcher’s passion and enthusiasm.
(He is also one of insect researchers in AMNH who I met during the summer, he was also very passionate and liked his work. All the jars in the room have lived or dead insects!! )