Abstract. Societal trends for museums and other cultural institutions have changed in the United States and the world. Consumers have come to expect much more activity than just passively viewing artifacts at museums or similar sites.The cultural institution mentality of “if we build it, they will come” (Chin, 2001:4) no longer holds, because visitors want more; it is not enough to see the real thing.They want to touch and interact and socialize. They want an “experience.” Consumers in today’s society have become accustomed to themed restaurants, mega shopping complexes, bright bright flashy light, and catchy slogans to draw them in to these entertainment venues. Unfortunately, this consumer mentality has crossed into the museum realm, because museums are now considered places of cultural entertainment, lumped into tourist packages with neighborhood malls. In the past, museums existed as storehouses for rarities that attracted curious visitors, but “most museums [today] exist in order to attract and serve visitors – as many as possible” (Falk, 2009:20).
Book Review: Oceania at the Tropenmuseum by Dan C. Swan
Abstract. The book, Oceania at the Tropenmuseum, is reviewed by Dan C. Swan. The book presents a fascinating account on the origins of the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, one of the great ethnographic museums in the world. The book includes interesting accounts of expeditions that acquired artifacts as well as rich photographic documentation of historic trips to Oceania.