Writing for the Guardian Unlimited Arts Blog, a rather crochety Nicholas Blincoe complains about the “infantalization” of British museums. He writes,
“I used to take pleasure visiting museums on trips around Britain, but now I am so clearly out-of-place: like Godzilla, a huge hulking man looming above the children. Our galleries and museums have been turned into playgrounds, with activity sheets and treasure trails, interactive video games and coloured signs that tell you about the exhibits in a few simple sentences, but nothing that an educated adult would not already know.”
Here’s the link to the article. What do you think? I appreciate it when museums have stuff for kids, in part because gallery activities and kid-friendly information in the galleries make visits more bearable for the whole family (and any hulking Godzillas who happen to be in the vicinity), but I agree that not everything needs to be turned into a cartoon character. And I love visiting what he calls “unmodernised museums: the museums that look like museums. I like them Victorian, cranky and encyclopedic,” (and so do my kids!) We promise not to swamp the place.