Monday, January 12, 2009

The Telegraph talks to Tom Campbell

Lee Rosenbaum (Culturegrrl) has drawn attention to Jasper Rees' interview with Tom Campbell, Director of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art ("Tom Campbell, director of New York's Metropolitan Museum, interview", Daily Telegraph January 12, 2009). E-museum technology is likely to be deployed in the galleries ("harnessing modern technology to make sure we can deliver information at different levels for those who want it") presents us with a vision of smart-phone wielding visitors watching their screens rather the objects. (This probably explains Campbell's appearance on YouTube [again a Culturegrrl find].)

Campbell does not say much about the "the ideas and concerns" of the Trustees at the Met---except to say that his own ideas resonated with them. (Does this say something about Campbell's attitude towards antiquities given which of the Trustees was on the search committee?) [A full list of Trustees, as of November 1, 2008, can be found here as a pdf.]

So can I offer a suggestion? How about using e-museum technologies to release (via the internet) the detailed collecting histories of archaeological material in the Met? This would have the bonus of being in step with the AAMD Guidelines on Ancient Art that encourages the investment of "research time"---another strand in Campbell's interview---"on objects where provenance is incomplete or uncertain".

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