April 15-18, 2009
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

Demonstrations: Description

Social Tagging in the Museum: The Chipstone Galleries at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Ethan Lasser, Chipstone Foundation, USA

Our presentation would focus on an innovative reinstallation of the American Collections Galleries at the Milwaukee Art Museum. These spaces, opened in October of 2008, feature a progressive blend of interactive technologies, audio and video presentations, and non-conventional modes of decorative arts display. Curated by scholars from the Chipstone Foundation, the new installation strives to engage visitors more fully by offering them transdisciplinary modes of interpretation and a variety of display techniques, many of them inspired by the great Wunderkammern of the 16th and 17th centuries. The curatorial and display team worked with a wide range of scholars, practicing artists and artisans, and contemporary videographer, to create spaces that are at once both historiographic and contemporary. Labels and traditional curatorial jargon, which so often stultify the conventional experience of decorative arts display in museums, here give way to alternative forms of presentation that are strongly theme based. Our spaces include an interactive educational room, a sculptural display of the greatest early American furniture, an anthropological interpretation of early American and English material culture, and the full blown three-room cabinet of curiosities. It is our hope that these new installations will promote a rethinking of decorative arts interpretation and display in museum settings.

Demonstration: Demonstrations 1 [Close Up]

Keywords: cabinet of curiosities, decorative arts, furniture, ceramics, social tagging, anthropology