Do You Share My Love Of Idiosyncratic Institutions?

People often ask me which museums are the best. I can’t stand to provide a list. I’ve only frequented about 0.01% of the establishments out there and I believe that the other 99.99% includes some real gems. But when I must say I think about it, all my favorites (so far) have a very important factor in common. It’s not the degree to which they are participatory. It isn’t their size or type or subject matter.

It’s the extent to that they are distinctive, and more precisely, idiosyncratic. I visit lots of properly nice, forgettable museums perfectly. The institutions that stick with me will be the ones that have a peculiar individuality. In some full cases, that’s based on subject matter, as at the Museum of Jurassic Technology or the American Visionary Art Museum. Other institutions are idiosyncratic in their romantic relationship to their environment, like the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, or even to their community, like the Wing Luke Asian Museum. Some are scrappy and iconoclastic, like the City Museum in St. Louis, whereas others are August stalwarts like the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

While the majority of my favorites are small (idiosyncrasy is easier to maintain without way too many committees), some are quite large–places like the Exploratorium in which a singular ethos infuses a massive facility. Idiosyncratic institutions aren’t just quirky and weird. They’re usually staffed by people who feel extremely passionate about their unique focus. These institutions are more connected to their specific often, local communities than more generic institutions. They may be comparable to local news charities and organizations.

They reflect the soul of the community and can be responsive to its unique interests and needs. Even the business world is getting sensible to the energy of idiosyncrasy. The 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea shop (shown at right) is not a small community-owned place. It’s a Starbucks. Over the last year, Starbucks has been opening stores in a few towns with a very different look–one that emulates the handmade, community vibe of locally-owned coffee shops. Whether you think this is an excellent move or a corporate and business swindle, it demonstrates that even a big company with a highly branded, consistent image sees the benefit of individualizing offerings to different marketplaces.

  1. Enumerate any three qualities of best choice
  2. The business purpose, and
  3. To follow standard food formulas for better flavor
  4. How will you build a moat
  5. 5 CNN Money
  6. Make-up Artistry

Starbucks can’t be a small funky startup, but it can try to appear to be one. What makes museums going in the other direction, trying to become more consistent than celebrating their idiosyncrasies rather? Somewhat, it’s externally-driven. Funders and potential donors have a tendency to look for particular benchmarks of professionalism (properly), and few are comfortable financing the most content-specific or risky establishments. But that’s only area of the story. Mostly, establishments move from idiosyncrasy on their own accord away.

1. As money gets tight, museums look for displays, program strategies, and income streams that are “proven” by other institutions’ successes, rather than charting their own potentially risky path. 2. Many museums no use in-house show designers much longer, relying instead on a brief set of companies and consultants. Design firms’ projects often have a common look across different cities and institutions. 3. Small museums, which are most likely to cultivate local, distinctive approaches and voice, come with an inferiority organic often. Then asserting their uniqueness Rather, they make an effort to emulate large museums.

1. The audience cycles frequently as households “age out.” Institutions may feel less of the need to provide something unusual or distinctive if the audience could keep refreshing every couple of years. 2. This content is seen as not being community-specific often. Science is science, and grocery store exhibits are supermarket exhibits.