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Indybay Feature
Thu Oct 3 2013
Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History Criticized for Lack of Curation
Has Search for Increased Attendance Turned MAH into "Second Community Center"?
After the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History (MAH) altered its mission statement following the appointment of director Nina Simon two years ago, one critic says the institution has sacrificed the experience of art and history to become a "second community center." In a recent column, Bruce Bratton cites a report that details how museums across the country have been seeking to increase attendance numbers as proof to justify grants and larger sums of monies to subsidize programs.

In his September 18-24 column, Bratton argues the shift in the museum's mission statement has lead to new meanings for the institution, musing that the "H" in MAH may more accurately be equated with "happenings" or "hobbies" than history. He admits some complicity in the process, describing how the MAH exhibited his collection of toothpaste.

Bruce Bratton writes: "MAH Board members have been quitting over this, and professional historians, curators and staff members have either left or are completely devastated by the changes that Nina Simon has created in the two and a half years she’s been executive director...Historians have told me many times in the last two and a half years that there are no longer any qualified historians cataloguing and curating and handling our MAH’s collections. Future generations will suffer from this. Concerned community members are wondering why the MAH Board of Directors have allowed this hobby-circus to take over MAH."

Read More | Bratton Online | See Also: PechaKucha Night: Found in Santa Cruz
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