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Susan Mullally  

Museum - a place for the Muses or for study, a library...a building, room, etc. for preserving and exhibiting rare, interesting or typical specimens of works of art, science, invention, etc. or of antiquities, curiosities, or objects of natural history.

The formal action of placing a piece of material culture in a glass box elevates the status of the object and validates the intention and interest of the chooser, or more formally, the curator. What role do individual members of a society have in choosing the material culture that will be preserved for the future? Who decides and with what criteria or standard are these decisions made? If "rare, interesting or typical specimens" qualify for consideration, who in society is trusted with this role?

My Museum Project includes the objects, ideas and stories about the items individuals choose to place in the glass box, have photographed and returned to them. I am creating my own museum of material culture along with an oral history of the donor and his/her relationship to the object as well as a portrait of the curator and document of the setting for the object. 

Items are often remembered with emotional reference but also stand on their own as objects. The story of the choice is important, as is a curatorial decision, and often has personal associations, which I want to record as oral history, and provenance, but not as historical note. 


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