Missouri History Museum Should Rethink Its Mission; Restoring Reputation; Preserving North Side Hub Would Do More for Community Than Delmar Land Deal; OTHER VIEWS

By Finch, Barbara L | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), October 17, 2012 | Go to article overview

Missouri History Museum Should Rethink Its Mission; Restoring Reputation; Preserving North Side Hub Would Do More for Community Than Delmar Land Deal; OTHER VIEWS


Finch, Barbara L, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


It's disappointing that those who are in charge at the Missouri History Museum seem to have forgotten an important rule when it comes to history: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." As they apparently played fast and loose with taxpayer dollars in a suspect land deal with a former board member, maybe they should have given a thought to Raymond F. Pisney, the former head of the museum, who was fired when his negligence, arrogance or greed resulted in a number of artifacts missing from the collection.

I've been disappointed with the Missouri History Museum for several years, and my lack of regard has nothing to do with a $1 million deal for a vacant lot on Delmar Boulevard. I'm disappointed because the History Museum doesn't act very much like a museum, much less one that is focused on Missouri.

Consider a few of the recent exhibitions at the facility in Forest Park: "Hunger and Resilience." "Mammoths and Mastodons." "The ADA After 20 Years." "Treasures of Napoleon." "The Splendors of the Vatican." And now on view: "Underneath It All," an exhibit about underwear.

While some of these may have been interesting and valuable, and receipts undoubtedly added to the bottom line, I have a hard time linking them with Missouri history.

Meanwhile, as viewers contemplate antique underwear, thousands of Missouri treasures are locked away in the museum's storage facility. Post-Dispatch reporter Matthew Hathaway wrote about some of them in a story printed on April 16, 2011. He described a "priceless cache of more than 150,000 artifacts chronicling the story of St. Louis and the history of the Midwest." Treasures range from a pocket watch owned by Meriwether Lewis to a piano owned by William Tecumseh Sherman. Ninety percent of the items owned by the museum are kept in storage and cannot be seen by taxpayers in the St. Louis Zoo-Museum district.

Why?

Dr. Robert R. Archibald, the current head of the museum, was once quoted as saying that he "transformed a traditional historical organization into a nationally recognized model of a community- oriented institution."

In making this transformation, leaders of the museum seem to have violated what was once the very purpose of the institution. According to a statement by the Museums Association (a national organization), "museums enable people to explore collections for inspection, learning and enjoyment. They collect, safeguard and make accessible artifacts and specimens, which they hold in trust for society. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Missouri History Museum Should Rethink Its Mission; Restoring Reputation; Preserving North Side Hub Would Do More for Community Than Delmar Land Deal; OTHER VIEWS
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.