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12-09-2008, 11:15 PM
The Past Isn't What It Used To Be (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/889iuocz.asp)
The remaking of the mixed-up National Museum of American History.
by Andrew Ferguson, Weekly Standard opinion

The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, which squats like an immense, unopened crate of machine parts on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., closed its doors for a two-year renovation in September 2006, and here's the interesting thing: Hardly anybody seemed to notice, or care. A press release, a squib in the local paper, and then .  .  . silence. In the first weeks after the shuttering, you might catch sight of a forlorn tourist tugging at the locked door and turning away in disappointment, but the disappointment just proved that the tourist had never been inside. Only those who have actually entered the Smithsonian's American history museum, eager to dive into the drama and wonder of the country's past, know how disappointing a museum can be...

Tom Odom
12-10-2008, 02:43 PM
Maybe we could get Oprah and Dr Phil in person or stuffed...:wry:

Steve Blair
12-10-2008, 02:49 PM
Interesting article, if a bit given to florid prose. I've never been to the NMAH, but the trend the author's describing dovetails with what I've seen in other museums. It's a sad commentary on any number of things...to include the ability (or lack thereof) of a certain class of "historian" when it comes to relating history to any sort of audience.