Term Paper: Museum Displays, According to Thelma Thomas

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¶ … Museum displays, according to Thelma Thomas, can significantly detract from an object's inherent cultural and historical meaning. Placing an object out of context means that the viewer ceases to take into account issues such as religiosity, sacredness, emotional content, cultural relevance, and historical context. Thomas focuses her article "Understanding Objects" on the importance of creating apt and meaningful display environments for medieval objects in particular.

Thomas implies that the work of museum cataloging needs to become more multi-disciplinary in its approach. Rather than noting the size, medium, and date of production, a curator must also take into account the ritualistic, sociological, or commercial uses for the particular object. As a result, the emphasis is on the relationship between the object and its contemporary human beings, rather than only on the object itself.

Displaying a medieval or any other object with respect to its cultural and historical contexts can greatly enhance the modern art historian's understanding… [END OF PREVIEW]

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