Exploring the museum's identity

Jan 24, 2016, 07:07 IST | Gitanjali Chandrasekharan

President of the Getty Trust, Dr James Cuno, will provide food for cultural thought

If Republic Day went by and all you did to mark the birth of India as a nation was the customary watching of the parade, then this lecture may help give more food for thought, at least where culture and identity politics is concerned.

Dr James Cuno

Once just an exhibition space where items — of religious and cultural importance — from other countries were displayed, the museum today is a live and kicking organism that not just represents a country’s cultural wealth, but also its many identities. And, speaking on this issue, on Wednesday evening, will be Dr James Cuno, an international museum leader and scholar and the President of the J Paul Getty Trust, who will be in Mumbai to deliver the 2nd Jehangir Nicholson Memorial Lecture, titled: “Memory, Nostalgia, Meaning: Identity Politics and the Modern Museum”.

Elaborating on what one can expect, Dr Cuno in an email interview, said, “I am interested in how the state promotes nationalism, uses culture to define national identities. In doing so, the state makes claims on national identity as being natural and exclusive.”

While doing our research on Dr Cuno, we came across a video — Visions of Digital Culture: The Future of Museums  by James Cuno.

Dr Cuno is promoter of digitisation of the museum. You realise just how much when words like Instagram pop up.  

“I believe that museums should disseminate images of and knowledge about their collections by every means possible and, if feasible, without charge,” says the man who headed the launch of the Open Content Programme at the Getty Museum.

Where: Coomaraswamy Hall, CSMVS 
When: 6.30 pm, January 27
Call: 22029613

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