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Museums should honor the everyday, not just the extraordinary | Ariana Curtis

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Who deserves to be in a museum? For too long, the answer has been "the extraordinary" — those aspirational historymakers who inspire us with their successes. But those stories are limiting, says museum curator Ariana Curtis. In a visionary talk, she imagines how museums can more accurately represent history by honoring the lives of people both extraordinary and everyday, prominent and hidden — and amplify diverse perspectives that should have always been included.

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29 Comments on Museums should honor the everyday, not just the extraordinary | Ariana Curtis

  1. Keemo Animated Films // 18th January 2019 at 5:11 pm // Reply

    I Animate, do what you love to honor your days!

  2. I highly recommend the Tenement Museum in NYC. It’s very intriguing to see the story of completely normal families from the past. It’s my favorite museum.

  3. That’s why museums have rocks on display instead of statues these days

  4. Lucas Carvalho // 18th January 2019 at 5:47 pm // Reply

    The museum is an important step in our modern culture and all human history they are the “first step” in rememory and MUST be extraordinary, otherwise nobody would be attracted and looses the point to elude people to find out more deeply about whatever is that subject and let you imagination and curiosity flows – THEN you can find out about the commum and mediocre . What amazing and wonderful ideia, and then ask youself why people forget about they culture, history and keep doing the same old mistakes when you gona rub mediocre, boring and everyday “stuff” on they face . . .

  5. A. Steven Stelmach-Bondar // 18th January 2019 at 5:55 pm // Reply

    Mediocre is the enemy of the extraordinary.

  6. You know I usually see Ted Talks, and even when it sounds like some BS, I usually give ’em a chance and come to find that it’s actually an individual with a truly inspired/passionate approach to a genuine and sincere topic. Even if it doesn’t relate to me personally, I can at least understand the societal impact of the speakers topic. However this speaker in all honesty sounds pretty one-sided. Unless there was something I missed, it would seem she’s almost exclusively pushing on behalf of specifically women of color. Which I’m not denying may be an under-represented group, but what about literally any other and every other under-represented group(s)? Even though there seems to be a veil of all-encompassing diversity, it comes across more like she’s pandering to a very specific/niche group(s). While I wouldn’t say I’m in any way qualified to analyze this effectively, I’d like to think I’m a sane, fair, and reasonable person, but this talk just seems like some thinly veiled SJW BS. No me gusta TED, no me gusta.

    • Juliana Silva // 18th January 2019 at 7:52 pm // Reply

      Cállate pendejo.

    • Kazma Rtopilon // 18th January 2019 at 7:52 pm // Reply

      No me gusta tambien.

    • Jose Hernandez // 18th January 2019 at 9:54 pm // Reply

      I’m glad your willing to make a good faith argument. Still I counter how do you expect marganilized voices to be heard without speaking. She speaks on behalf of her identity because it is the identity from which she can speak. It seems odd to me that a curator has bothered you by representing what I assume is at least one of the groups you identify with.

    • Jose Hernandez because there is the implied notion, based solely on her feelings and that black and latina women don’t precisely represent museum curators with respect to their portion of the population, that rampant bigotry, discrimination, and hate is present in them. It’s not that museum curators are already an extremely niche area of expertise and that the national endowment for the arts has for years been dolling out millions of taxpayer dollars to museums to increase “diversity and inclusion” to no avail and despite intersectional ideology having already infected the NEA and it’s sister institutions and the countless other cultural and demographic reasons there isn’t a plethora of black female museum curators to even pick from in the first place, no no no, it’s simply that the institutions are bastions of virulent misogynistic racists. That is absolutely what she is implying and then when people like her get the predictable back lash for implying it, they cry racism and misogyny. It’s a neat trick.

  7. Hussain iqbal // 18th January 2019 at 6:11 pm // Reply

    Museums are there to show things which aren’t normal. By definition they are unrespresentative. If museums were perfectly representative noone would go

    • (nevermind worker museums and museums about people’s everyday lives in the 50-80, those totally do not exist and are not succesful at all)

    • those are historic exhibitions. they show things that were once ordinary, but are now extraordinary because they’re gone from everyday life. if would we still be living just like in the 50‘s there would be no sense in showcasing it.

  8. There are plenty of museums of mundane things. Big museums should be celebrating the absolute pinnacle of culture and history.

  9. Now I’m googleing Esmaraldas and Afro Ecuadorians. This is why I’m subbed to TED.

  10. People care WAY too much about thier heritage and specially thier skin color. You aren’t the sum of what part of earth’s land mass your ancestor settled.

  11. Kazma Rtopilon // 18th January 2019 at 7:50 pm // Reply

    Yeah ! Museums should honor everything so that nothing’s extraordinary any more. Rare stuffs are so boring. I prefer to pay to see things I already know. That makes sense.

  12. Dr Maxx Aaction // 18th January 2019 at 8:13 pm // Reply

    More inclusion and diversity?

  13. If museums were everyday, and not special. THEN museums would be… boring. This is just feelings that you want to be special like actually talented people that make works of art and historical moments. In conclusion, if you want representation then go and request for important works, not just random useless items that match your looks or heritage.

  14. Kazma Rtopilon // 18th January 2019 at 8:50 pm // Reply

    I think the world would be better if the people would define themselves as human. Not as white, black, yellow, man, woman, etc.
    Essentialism is dangerous.
    People are different, that’s true. But who cares ? Don’t we have better to do than saying “I’m not the same as you”. We are all the same. Stop putting boarders where there is none.

  15. *Ayn Rand rolls in her grave
    Edit: ok maybe not, this was mostly about feminism. But the title made her very uncomfortable

  16. Rajosik Mitra // 18th January 2019 at 9:26 pm // Reply

    Museums do honor the everyday, like a random potter’s work from 300 BC for example, or earthenware that ordinary people used to drink from. Apart from that, there are coins, seals, tablets, beads, jewelry and so much more that belonged to ordinary people from their respective time periods. What is she talking about? The title is so misleading.

  17. Life Progress // 18th January 2019 at 9:26 pm // Reply

    *You can find something truly important in an ordinary minute*

  18. Xxtictoc1216xX // 18th January 2019 at 9:37 pm // Reply

    It’s a museum, there made to hold significant points in history.

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