Frozen in time?

This blog post was written following the Objects in Motion conference, held at CRASSH, University of Cambridge.

We often imagine that museum objects end their lives when they enter a collection. At the Objects in Motion conference, there was much discussion over whether museum collections are alive, dead, or just resting. Often museum objects have been through a long journey – from their native setting or perhaps another kind of a life to being stripped of their context, given a label and an identification number and placed reverently in a cool dark store to await an audience. An audience of researchers perhaps, arriving one at a time to eagerly inspect a particular quality of that object, or maybe an audience of millions when the object finds itself on display in a large national museum. Whichever of those is true, the question remains: are those objects alive?

13th-century wooden Tibetan book cover depicting the Buddha Shakyamuni on the night of his enlightenment. Credit: Wikimedia / Walters Art Museum.

Continue reading at the Objects in Motion blog

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