I Object: The Atlantic City Trump Museum Project and its Objects

Recently Levi Fox, a doctorate student at Temple University, visited my public history class. During this visit he discussed his effort to create a museum focused around Trump’s legacy in Atlantic City. He hoped that such a museum would be able to create much needed heritage tourism. During his presentation he displayed a few objects such as a beach towel from the Taj Mahal. A similar towel may be found on Ebay currently at the low price of $1,000.

While listening to Fox discuss the objects and how some of them were donated by Trump supporters who assumed that Fox and the museum take a pro Trump stance it made me consider Nina Simon’s, “Participatory Design and the Future of Museums.” Simon starts off by discussing the history of the internet and how the internet is similar to a museum with many different people submitting objects and everyone treasuring their own. Much like the internet i am sure that individuals are curious about how their objects are displayed and wish to be involved in the process. One of the classical examples that I think about is a small tag that states who donated the object. During class I also asked about the possibility of an online exhibit. This has caused me to consider the question of why museum’s must obtain physical objects and why high quality photographs that can viewed in virtual reality cannot be used? I do not believe that it is a far jump for the public to embrace virtual reality due to it’s increasingly low cost. The challenge of course is creating dialogue within someones living room.

A great example of a virtual museum can be found at:

http://americanart.si.edu/multimedia/wonder360/

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