How Corporations Harness — and Hijack — the Idea of the Museum


The Limelight Building and the future home of the the Museum of Candy

From Hyperallergic by Mitchell Kuga:

Once upon a time, museums were repositories for the objects and stories that defined human history. But these days, they are also places to pull out your smartphone and photograph yourself. On Sunday, the Museum of Selfies opened in California. In 2016, the so-called Museum of Ice Cream was one of the most popular selfie spots in the world. And the most Instagrammed restaurant in America, The Sugar Factory, recently announced that it will soon open a Museum of Candy.

For Instagram lovers, these developments may be cause for excitement. But the trendy adoption of the word “museum” has the potential to undermine the trust placed in cultural institutions, perhaps altering our relationship to culture, art, and commerce in the process.

The Museum of Candy, founded by a Kardashian-endorsed restaurant chain with enough capital to lease 30,000 square feet of prime Manhattan real estate, appears to be the largest such project yet. It will be housed in the 19th-century church that became The Limelight, the sprawling Warholian nightclub of the 80s and 90s. In a press release, the Museum of Candy promises plenty of picture-taking opportunities: “the largest selection of candy in the world for museum patrons to photograph, study and most importantly EAT!” Clearly, the organizers were careful to build selfie spots into the space: “Looking to take a picture in the Gumdrop Room, or lose your children temporarily in the candy cane fashion show while you are mesmerized by the candy and gummy bear-making process in the candy café?”

Read the rest of the article at Hyperallergic

Categories: History of Culture

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