The Enduring Challenges and Changing Role of Cultural Institutions
Although I have been an enthusiastic museum visitor for some forty years, a personal episode that occurred more than twenty years ago memorably altered my thinking about such places and left me with the inescapable feeling that museums must be very much in the eye of the beholder.*
In March of 1969 my wife and I and our two young sons made a long-planned, much discussed weekend trip to Manhattan in order to see close friends and visit such places as the American Museum of Natural History. The museum was frequently mentioned in table talk as an incentive to pique the enthusiasm (and perhaps the good behavior) of our younger son, then a little more than three years old.
When the great day came, a crisp but clear Saturday morning, six of us descended into the subway to catch a train for Central Park West and____________________