Stories and imagination
One of the most beautiful and funniest museums I know is Sir John Soane's museum in London. This 19th century architect has housed his versatile collection in his home at Lincoln's Inn Fields, and determined that everything after his death should be displayed unchanged. Freely accessible to all.
It's a bit of a pity you can not photograph the inside. I think Soane wouldn't have bothered, but let's leave that for the moment.
This small museum is an example of a small museum that represents stories and imagination. Interactive, informative and educational. You are looking at your surroundings differently when you leave this special museum house. It stimulates your fantasy too. Hence the sun in the image above. It is an object from the collection of glass objects of father and son Blaschka. It has nothing to do with the story, but fits in well with the image.
Arts and culture are unfortunately often downgraded to mere entertainment. Not by late Sir John Soane, but many other museums and artists do. They are forced so to say, because otherwise the road to descent will often appear.
That's why there is a rally race between museums with many losers and a few winners. The art institute, if it succeeds, takes on a hybrid form, in which entrepreneurship, often unilaterally translated into commercial activities, has to fund the essential task of the institute. In addition, the same sound repeats over and over from the mouths of the advocates of tight art budgets: find the Private Financier! Do Crowdfunding! As if this is possible within a glimpse of the eye.
Rules and procedures
That is challenging and definitely worth the effort. But who thinks that this solves the problems that cause a government that does not take responsibility for the arts, is blind. The arts are saddled with a stifling search for money, which is increasingly frustrated by fine regulation to avoid any risk. It is also strange that on the one hand entrepreneurship within the arts is presented as a strict necessity, while at the same angle it is being used by knocking rules and procedures.
The new minister of culture in the Netherlands will hopefully take action in the words of his or her predecessor. Because beautiful words only have no concrete result, which is the case. The damage caused by the exorbitant cuts in 2012 is not repaired. Art is apparently fun, but if the tip comes to a bowl, it's a triviality.
Of course, the museum and with her the entire arts sector is responsible for their own project financing. Today, however, this is more and more at the expense of the core business of the museum, which I would like to summarize as follows. Art and culture make us understand the long-term story of our society and we can express our own experiences within.
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Image: Sir Joh Soane's museum