As a counterpoint to my last post about responding to current events, and the post I wrote for Registrar Trek recently about rapid response collecting, today I am thinking about the benefits for museums of being slow.
When I started Acid Free I wrote a round up of emerging trends I was noticing in museum practice and displays, and I intended to follow it up regularly, but have been slow to do so. After fretting that I had left it too late and many of my ’emerging’ trends related to exhibitions that have been and gone, I sat down to write about some thoughts on museums goings on I’ve been collecting over the summer. I realised that many of these trends are actually part of a wider trend – museums working in collaboration with other sectors and art forms.
…in which I indulge the opportunity to play fashion blogger (while still writing about museums).
While browsing for museum news online recently I came across a curious collaboration: high street store Oasis have teamed up with the V&A to produce a range of clothes and accessories inspired by the museum’s archive of prints. At first I thought it was a strange arrangement; museums might strike up a relationship with a brand for sponsorship or hoping to attract different audiences by partnering with cool designers (more of that later) but in this case it seems the V&A is the ‘cool’ partner of the pairing. The museum was after all established to inspire British designers and manufacturers, and this is exactly the role it is fulfilling in this partnership.
I’ve been thinking since I started this blog about trends in museum exhibitions. As I thought about what I wanted to write about when it comes to museums, certain topics keep coming up. I wrote about this in my post on animal-focused exhibitions, and since then I have been spotting more trends, and other articles picking up on this.
I’m hugely looking forward to the Grant Museum’s exhibition Strange Creatures, which I intend to visit and post about this week. In anticipation then, I have been thinking about exhibitions which focus on animals, which seems to be something of a trend at the moment, at least in my local area.