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“JELL-O Den delikataste deserten”

by Lynne Belluscio

Every two years I attend the European Open Air Museum meeting. I have been attending these meetings for twelve years as a representative of the Association of Living History, Farms and Agricultural Museums. Twelve years ago, we met in Scotland and Northern England, followed by Finland, then Holland and Belgium, Denmark and Germany. This year we met in Norway.

The focus on this year’s meeting was the installation of contemporary exhibits at several of the European museums. A museum in Denmark and one in Oslo have moved in buildings from the 1960s and 1970s. There is a lot of discussion about whether this makes sense and whether other museums should follow in that direction.

Many of these museums have previously focused on their native culture and architecture, but the contemporary exhibits allow them to introduce the recent immigrant stories. It would be as if Genesee Country Museum decided to move in a ranch house  - even my house from 1969 and furnish it and have a couple of folks “interpret” what it was like growing up in 1969. I still haven’t decided whether I think it is a good idea or a fad. But it sure did stir up discussion.




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