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Museums are curating an era of social movements in real time

Category: Curatorial Practice

This video report examines the trend of “rapid response collecting,” where museums are acquiring objects related to protest movements and major events as they unfurl, anticipating their importance to the historical record and ensuring that their material legacies will survive.

“I know, as a scholar of African American history, there were many times I wanted to do exhibitions, and there was nothing in the collections that could tell those stories. That shapes history by omission. So, the notion for me is, let’s give people as many opportunities as possible…I want to make sure that you’ve got the resources to be able to tell important stories in the future.”

-Lonnie Bunch, director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

Museums are curating an era of social movements in real time

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