Overall, particularly after listening to Peta Motture’s lecture on how much detail and consideration goes in to curating an exhibition, I was fairly unimpressed with the Enlightenment Gallery. I found it unimpactful and lacking consideration for audience response. I find in general with the British Museum, that there tends to be a lot of focus on acquisition which I find interesting personally, but is not greatly helpful to me in terms of learning about a period. This was no exception. I feel as though I just did not have enough background knowledge to make this gallery particularly worth while to visit. It was a different story for example, when looking at the Egyptian area in conjunction with studying Egypt last term in Cultural Foundations. I felt like that was an excellent supplementary visit. But this was too disjointed from my knowledge base for me to gain much from it.
Peta spoke about great works being “thrown away” when they are used in order to merely explain or show something rather than as standalone art, which led me to question- what is the purpose of a museum anyway? Is it to show? To educate? To aesthetically please us? I don’t think the Enlightenment Gallery particularly achieved a lot although they did have some very interesting objects.