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Big Does Not Mean Good

“A big collection and empty storage? That might be a sign of a good museum”. By this provocative statement I have tried to suggest that museums should make full use of them. They my circulate their collections, lend them to the “poor” museums, or if plausible, return them where they have been taken from. With a century or two of diligent (sometimes) compulsive collecting, most of the museums show and use hardly a quarter of their collection. The rest is doomed to darkness of their vaults and while there, - inexistent. Mentioning “bulimia” in the context is another provocation: most museums continue this sort of quantitative perfectionism: the more the better. While subject is very complex the implication that a big collection means a good museum is usually very wrong. Creative and responsible use of a well selected collection (with the aid of secondary material and interpretive means) will surely be the way to quality.

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