MuseumMinute

Celebrating or Selling Out? Decking the Museum Halls

The holiday season is here – and if you are in the U.S. and in line of the snowmageddon that is barreling its way across most of the country this week,  it’s beginning to look a lot like a winter wonderland – never mind the fact that it’s currently 60 degrees outside my window as I write this (though its coming…).

All of that being said, I love visiting museums during the holiday season, regardless of the weather.

Why?

Because this is the easiest time of year to convince my family to visit a museum – what with the light shows, train displays, Santa visits, holiday programming and other creative events that tend to deck the halls this time of year – it’s all quite fun.

Jamie checking out Jingle Rails at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis in 2011

Jamie checking out Jingle Rails at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis, Indiana (2011). Photo courtesy of SHA Class of 2011 .

However, the accompanying question to all of these annual celebratory activities remains…how do holiday initiatives like these fit into the missions of our organizations – and, perhaps just as importantly, do they need to?

I’m interested in what you think. The holiday season is travel season – people are traveling, visiting families, and looking for something to do with their families; this is the perfect time for museums to attract visitors with holiday cheer (and maybe, just maybe, they’ll wander through our galleries and exhibit halls and connect with the stories our collections have to offer). A double whammy experience of sorts.

But at what cost? What concerns do you have regarding these sorts of initiatives? What do you see as the benefits? What does it mean to go “too far?” Is there a balance that can and should be struck? Or is this all just much ado about nothing?

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5 thoughts on “Celebrating or Selling Out? Decking the Museum Halls

  1. Pingback: Christmas In Museum Land | Museuming

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