Museum of Museums

Today in the NY Times I read a fascinating article about a Museum of Failures. Focusing on such failed products as the Segway, Google Glass, and Harley Davidson perfume, the museum takes a look at objects aimed at consumers that did not meet expectations.

One paragraph in the article, a quote from the founder of the museum, jumped out at me:

Dr. West said the idea for the museum dawned on him when he visited the Museum of Broken Relationships. “I couldn’t believe they had a Museum of Broken Relationships,” he said. “Then I decided I had to get busy with my Museum of Failure.”

My immediate thought upon reading this paragraph was, why not go meta? Given the vast variety of museums out there, shouldn’t there be a museum of museums?

Now that we have virtual and mixed reality, we can totally do this. In one physical location, you can embark on a journey to everything from a museum of Himalayan art to a museum of Natural History to a museum of Sex to a museum of Broken Relationships.

The museum of museums would be the ultimate museum. Isn’t it about time we created this?

6 Responses to “Museum of Museums”

  1. Hitoshi says:

    How much level can we climb up? Museum of ‘museum of museum’? I think I don’t need to assume only one ‘museum of museum’, like there are many art museums.

  2. admin says:

    Actually, the Museum of Museums of Museums (M3) would be much easier.

    Since there are no Museums of Museums yet in existence, M3 would be much easier than M2.

    Visitors would arrive there and encounter the empty set.


  3. Cynthia Allen says:

    Actually, there IS a Museum of Museums, well, sort of:

    Museum of Online Museums (MoOM)
    The Museum of Online Museums is a project begun by Coudal Partners, a design, advertising and interactive studio based in Chicago, as a means of preserving and sharing the vast array of the Internet’s archives that span the culturally significant to the obsessively bizarre ….

  4. admin says:

    Thanks! Never meta-museum I didn’t like. 🙂

    The MoOM is very cool. It’s also, strictly speaking, an Online Museum of Online Museums, or an OMoOM — an acronym which makes it sound a bit spiritual.

    With the capabilities of VR and MR, we might soon be able to create the physical equivalent.

  5. Manu says:

    can you define physical for me please? how physical could the PMoPM become?

    also, in the PMoPM, would the points of interests be the PM themselves or the objects in them? if the latter, might there not be room for a new organizational structure that is different to “museum”? does the analogy of the building housing the collection still make sense?

  6. admin says:

    I was thinking that portraying the physical museums themselves would be essential. My reasoning is as follows:

    A museum is not just a physical building. It is, fundamentally, a use of that building to curate a collection. It is the set of choices made in the act of curation that really defines the museum. How the physical building is utilized to implement those choices is essential to the character of the museum.

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