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contents, and in its home a mere ostentatious product of a foolish desire to add the facade of a marble palace to the city's insignia of culture, - to do these things seemed to us foolish and wasteful and unproductive of good results.
THE KIND OF MUSEUM NEWARK SEEMS TO NEED Obviously the thing needed by Newark in the museum field, was something which should supplement locally the great storehouses of wonderful, beautiful, and educational objects in the collections of the city next door, the richest city in the world, and a city of which Newark each year becomes more essentially a component part. This supplement, so we felt, and still feel, should be adapted with special care to the needs of the people of Newark; through careful study it should be made something the people of Newark would use and, using, would find pleasure and profit therein. It should not be constructed, in its home, or in its collections, or in its activities, after any preconceived pattern. What Newark men and women and children would welcome, and would use to add to the interests of their lives and to the improvement and general efficiency of their business and work-a-day lives, — this we thought should be slowly and carefully discovered by study, observation and trial,- and so the museum would grow. To build first an expensive home, a palace, a temple or any grandiose and permanent structure on the convential lines of so-called museum architecture was, so we seemed clearly to see, to do a foolish, wasteful, antiquated thing; a thing possible only to those who knew little of modern community life, still less of American educational practice, and least of all of modern museum ideas. Vast sums, it is true, are invested in some of our large cities, and relative large sums in some of our smaller cities, on buildings and collections of museums of the conventional art-gallery type: and sums also very large are spent on the maintenance of the same. But a very brief study of these museums and of the use made of them in adding to the pleasure, to the broadening and enlightening, and to the definite education of their respective communities, convinced us that they are among the least effective products of communi. ty enterprise that American development has brought forth. We came to a like conclusion concerning conventional scientific and historical and industrial collections. They have shown themselves to be collections, and little more; gratifying to a few, awesome to a few, tiresome to many, and helpful to almost none.
THE COMING OF THE NEW MUSEUM IDEA The same open-minded study, — did we not believe it was open-minded we would never presume to offer to our colleagues any suggestions whatever, — which seemed to us to demonstrate the general futility of conventional museums of whatever character, brought to our attention a movement, within the museum field, which precisely fell in with the notions we had already acquired concerning museum work. This movement or activity within certain museums, suggested long ago by Mr. Goode, and hinted at broadly by a few students long before his day, has scarcely yet embodied itself in a museum. It is too new, on the one hand, and the old "art-gallery" and "collections” ideas of museums are still too powerful, on the other hand, to permit it to express itself fully in an active, complete and well-rounded institution. There are seeming exceptions to this statement here and there, which will be alluded to later.
This new movement, with which we have tried to identify ourselves and in which we have tried to do our part, is difficult of description. It is not directed to the erection of Greek or Renaissance façades in parks or corners remote from a city's center. It is not concerned with the construction, behind those façades, of a few grand courts and galleries. Its galleries or work and study rooms to be are not invested with that ancient and ghastly fetish, a top light, - something which one may properly hope to escape when he enters a modern building. It is not friendly to that "museum” atmosphere which is depressing and numbing to the sensitive visitor in direct ratio to the self-conscious grandeur and refinement of its architectural container. Nor does this new museum method aim at the acquisition of rare and priceless objects with which to fill rows of cold and costly cases; all peculiarly well-fitted, if they do nothing else, to aggravate the foolish pride of the thoughtless citizen; nor at the acquisition of so many objects within any one field as to make a museum distinctly a museum of a certain kind.
THE VALUE OF MERE COLLECTIONS Parenthetically it should be said, lest some misunderstand our attitude toward the preservation of rare and beautiful objects, toward the creation of art galleries, toward the making of science collections and collections in any field whatever, that all these things are manifestly useful, and have their proper place. We merely hold to the theory that in most cases their immedi. ate utility is vastly over-rated; that their cost is out of proportion to their value; that their managers usually too greatly exalt their acquisitions and forget the entertainment and instructions of those for whom they were professedly acquired; and that their presence, and the dominance of the conventions which go with them, make very difficult the introduction of homelier, more attractive and more useful objects and methods into the museum world.
Most of us prefer to copy. It is one of the limitations of wealth that it can not be original in its exercise of one of its prime functions, the practice of conspicuous wastefulness. The rich like to collect what other rich have collected. They add the lust of possession to the practice of patronage of art or science. They think of "grand” public homes of the public's treasures only in terms convention has fixed. Hence, remote palaces full of things whose accepted merits in beauty, rarity, age and cost are excelled only by the paucity of their visitors.
But, as it is well for the public to become possessors of the rich and rare, and as the rich will supply them only under certain architectural and administrative conditions, it is obvious that it would be quite as foolish as it would be unwise to oppose the growth of the conventional museum.
Our attitude of criticism which is, we fully realize, quite negligible as such, is born merely of the belief that a better type of museum, a museum properly so-called, indeed, is possible, is in fact inevitable, and that some of the energy and money which now goes to the old kind of museum store house may well be diverted to the new kind of museum work-shop. And that belief is expressed in this pamphlet as a partial explanation of the character of the constructive suggestions we make later.
THE GENERAL THEORY OF THE NEW MOVEMENT The general theory of the new movement we are trying to describe seems to be this:
Each community can use to good advantage a certain quantity of material in formal and informal training through the eye. This training, this visual instruction, every member of every community is gaining in some measure every working moment of his life. In each community there is a tendency toward rather special and somewhat limited interests in the visual field, by reason of the special industrial, commercial and educational activities of that community. We believe that it will pay any community to add to its educational apparatus a group of persons which shall form the staff of a local institution of visual instruction and to put in the hands of these persons modest sums with which they shall acquire, label, describe, arrange for show and prepare for lending, such objects as careful study and experiment shall suggest; in the expectation that staff and objects combined will do for the community these things at least, and, one may hope, in time many others
1. Entertain, and be ready to try to interest and instruct, such as may have the wish and the time to visit casually the institution's headquarters.
2. Entertain and more definitely and generally instruct, in classes and conducted groups, by labels, leaflets, handbooks, talks and illustrated lectures, such adults as may be induced to come to see special exhibits, also at the institute headquarters.
3. Entertain, interest and still more definitely instruct children who may be sent to the institute's headquarters from schools on stated occasions, and for certain specific observations; the objects observed, and the talks and the reading expounding the objects, being closely related to school work and to the age and stage of mental development of each group that comes.
4. Prepare for schools single objects and groups of objects with such labels, leaflets, lantern slides and instructors as the proper use of each may demand, and lend these to schools as the school authorities may designate; all being fitted, of course, to make easier the work of teaching and to make broader and more effective the work of the pupils.
5. Place in schools, as opportunity and fit occasions and the felt need of teachers, supervisors and the management may indicate, single objects and large and small collections of objects, fully labeled and accompanied by pictures, leaflets and pamphlets; all being such as may entertain and instruct both teach. ers and pupils, and particularly such as may be found to give constant and almost daily assistance in adding interest and value to studies and in broadening the experiences of pupils and in awakening new interests in them. These to be changed as use and circumstance suggest.
6. Place in convenient and easily accessible rooms, like store rooms on business streets, and in special rooms with separate entrances in school buildings, single objects and small, wellrounded collections in art, science, industry, ethnology and other fields, such as experience shows will attract a large number of visitors. Manage these branch institutes, when possible, as veritable independent teaching centers, with leaflets and cards descriptive of the museum's work and its acquisitions for distribution, and with skilled attendants who can describe and instruct as opportunity offers.