Tenement Museum

Some of my reactions after visiting the Tenement museum:

  • Great concept of museum. When I visit a museum I expect unconsciously to go “into” it, and I really liked the “disrupting” concept of the Tenement.
  • The closest I have been to revive bygone years was when I visited the old house of my great-grandmother in the remote highlands of Peru, where I found very old obsolete machines that were looking quite new; but I never expected to find a place where I could be able to “revive” the former migrations in the heart of the city.  So I was thinking on the process that the people in the museum had to reconstruct the shapes, the atmosphere, and facts that happened 150 years ago. How accurate could be the output of this process?
  • Perhaps some smells and sounds could help to “transport” visitors to the 19th century?
  • This is the second time I visit the museum. The first time, the tour leader was exceptionally enthusiastic and perhaps funnier. Now, the tour leader was not that enthusiastic but she was more interactive with the audience. However, it’s clear that the largest part of the experience is the tour leader….  but how can the museum assure to always recruit tour leaders with the same level of impetuosity?  How can she keep that vitality considering she is repeating the same speech time after time? What happens if she fought with his husband in the morning?
  • Beside the leader’s passion and skills to keep the audience interested, there is also his/her knowledge about the core topic. During my first visit, the tour leader told several unique and revealing details, that made me imagine in which conditions this people were living, and made the experience highly enriching. But he was not able to answer a couple of basic questions that some visitors asked. What is the usual background of tour leaders in this museum?  How should the museum face the training process of these guys in order to fulfill visitors’ expectations?
  • Finally, I think it would have been more interesting – and more efficient as well – for the students to visit the museum by their own, and afterward sharing each particular experience (with a different tour leader and building) with the rest of the class.

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