What Are Our Expectations Telling Us? Encounters with the NMAI

What Are Our Expectations Telling Us? Encounters with the NMAI What Are Our Expectations Telling Us? Encounters with the nmai gwyneira isaac I had two vastly dissimilar encounters with the inaugural exhibits at the National Museum of the American Indian (nmai) in Washington dc during its celebratory opening in September 2004. My first encounter was at the reception for museum staff, consultants, and their families, where I was accompanied by a group of anthropologists and museologists who were animated with anticipation for what they hoped would be a landmark series of exhibits and a turning point in Native American museology. As a group of people whose lives are clearly defined by museums, we were at home analyzing the architecture and displays. During our critique, however, we discovered that a number of features confounded us and thwarted our understanding of the goals of the exhibits, providing stimulating discussions and an immense amount of intellectual and critical fodder for future examination and research. My second visit was with an enthusiastic colleague who accompanied me in the small hours of the morning on the first day the museum was made accessible to the public. The museum stayed open through the night to accommodate the large groups of visitors who had flocked http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The American Indian Quarterly University of Nebraska Press

What Are Our Expectations Telling Us? Encounters with the NMAI

The American Indian Quarterly, Volume 30 (3) – Jun 9, 2006

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 The University of Nebraska Press.
ISSN
1534-1828
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

What Are Our Expectations Telling Us? Encounters with the nmai gwyneira isaac I had two vastly dissimilar encounters with the inaugural exhibits at the National Museum of the American Indian (nmai) in Washington dc during its celebratory opening in September 2004. My first encounter was at the reception for museum staff, consultants, and their families, where I was accompanied by a group of anthropologists and museologists who were animated with anticipation for what they hoped would be a landmark series of exhibits and a turning point in Native American museology. As a group of people whose lives are clearly defined by museums, we were at home analyzing the architecture and displays. During our critique, however, we discovered that a number of features confounded us and thwarted our understanding of the goals of the exhibits, providing stimulating discussions and an immense amount of intellectual and critical fodder for future examination and research. My second visit was with an enthusiastic colleague who accompanied me in the small hours of the morning on the first day the museum was made accessible to the public. The museum stayed open through the night to accommodate the large groups of visitors who had flocked

Journal

The American Indian QuarterlyUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Jun 9, 2006

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