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UBC Theses and Dissertations

On display : a localized study of exhibitions of antiquities from the Mediterranean and Egypt Grady, Gillian Leigh 2011

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ON DISPLAY: A LOCALIZED STUDY OF EXHIBITIONS OF ANTIQUITIES FROM THE MEDITERRANEAN AND EGYPT   by Gillian Leigh Grady  B.A., The University of Iowa, 2008  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Ancient Culture, Religion and Ethnicity)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  August 2011  © Gillian Leigh Grady, 2011  ii Abstract  The museum world is constantly facing new challenges about how to utilize its collections in order to engage visitors and tap into new audiences.  The antiquities of the ancient Mediterranean and Egypt have consistently been on display in various exhibitions and museums in the United States.  Using the city of Philadelphia as a geographical locus, this paper will examine the success and shortcomings of various styles of exhibition.  Using new museum theory from Janet Marstine and the concept of the social life of things by Arjun Appadurai, this paper examines the exhibits, the motivation behind them, and their relative success.  The blockbuster-style exhibit can be financially beneficial but may compromise museum missions, while more traditional style exhibits lack the ability to interact with new and large audiences but are often the site of technological innovation.  Museums must engage various styles of exhibition to remain stable and viable as cultural institutions.   iii Table of Contents  Abstract.................................................................................................................................... ii   Table of Contents ................................................................................................................... iii  Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................ iv  Dedication ................................................................................................................................ v  Chapter  1: Introduction ........................................................................................................ 1  1.1  New Museum Theory .................................................................................................. 2  1.2  The Social Life of Things ............................................................................................ 8 1.3 Philadelphia Museum Landscape……………………………………………………..10 Chapter  2: Exhibition Case Studies ................................................................................... 15  2.1  King Tutankhamun .................................................................................................... 15  2.2.1 New York vs. Philadelphia…………………………………………………….23 2.2  Cleopatra .................................................................................................................... 25 2.3 Ancient Rome and America…………………………………………………………..30 2.4 The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology……….39 Chapter  3: Technology and Finances................................................................................. 46  3.1  Mobile Technology.................................................................................................... 50  3.1.1  Websites.............................................................................................................. 59  3.2  Corporate and Financial Considerations .................................................................. 62  3.2.1  Admission Prices ................................................................................................ 65 Chapter 4: Conclusion……………………………………………………………………...68 Bibliography .......................................................................................................................... 73    iv Acknowledgements  I would like to thank the faculty, staff, and my fellow students in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies, who have inspired me and tolerated me as I progressed in my studies.  I owe particular thanks to Dr. C.W. Marshall and Dr. E.H. Williams for their guidance as well as Dr. L. Bablitz for being an additional reader. Special thanks are owed to my parents, whose support throughout my entire education has been unwavering.  And thanks to my brothers and sisters who have lent their own talents and skills to my research, consistently answering my often obscure questions. And finally, thanks to my fiancé John for his support over the last two years.  I have tested his patience in innumerable ways and am thankful he stuck with me through all of it.     1 Chapter  1: Introduction When I started reading in earnest for this thesis, I came upon a cartoon by Charles Barsotti.  First published in The New Yorker in 1986, it was republished in an article by Lissant Bolton1.  While Bolton describes the man pictured as “standing before a glass display case, looking with respectful awe at the single small pot within it”2, my initial reading of the cartoon was more cynical.  The caption, “The wonder of it all”, was a semi-sarcastic statement about the museum-going experience for many people.  I am certain that all too often, a visitor stands before a glass display, looking at a single small pot with it and feels no wonder, no awe.  For while ideally the act of looking at objects in museums can “open horizons of knowledge and imagination”3, the reality is that visitors can easily see the objects but cannot always appropriately understand them without some kind of aid.  The man in Barsotti’s cartoon may be one of those visitors who recognizes that an object so displayed is important but does not grasp the real wonder of it.  These visitors have not been enriched in the way the museum intends and leave with an empty experience. What then can museums do to engage their visitors?  To be sure, some people will not want to be engaged, perhaps even feel they are forced into the museum under duress (I am thinking particularly of field trips).  There may be nothing to help these individuals, but there is a large population that wants to enter a museum and feel the awe; it may feel a cultural duty to frequent these institutions but without aid, it may not be able to access the academic and cultural knowledge that makes a museum object worthy of its place in the museum collection.  To enable the connection that fosters appreciation and learning, museums turn to special exhibitions.  Using objects from their own collections and borrowing from other public and private collections, a museum can highlight the work of a particular artist or a time period of a particular culture. What may have been lost to the visitor in the midst of everything else is under a spotlight, and suddenly, “the wonder of it all” is brought into view. The antiquities of the Mediterranean and Egypt seem to fall squarely into a gray area for many people; they know they should wonder at these objects that have survived the destruction of time, and yet they do not have, or are not given, the means to appreciate what that object  1 Lissant Bolton, “The Object in View: Aborigines, Melanesians, and Museums,” in Museums and Source Communities: A Routledge Reader, eds. Alison K. Brown and Laura Peers. (London: Routledge, 2003). 2 Ibid., 42 3 Ibid.  2 meant to its culture or why we should preserve and showcase it.  Thus, visitors to Europe flock to museums with antiquities collections, traveling exhibitions with antiquities are heavily funded and publicized, and visitors spend a great deal of time and money to see all of this.  But how far have exhibitions crossed into the sector of entertainment to bring in visitors?  Are the educational values of a museum eclipsed in the face of the financial boon of a potentially blockbuster exhibit?  Are our expectations of museums as places of education and aesthetics unreasonable in today’s world?  These questions, among others, will be explored in the following paper. I intend to first examine theories from two scholars that can be applied to museums and exhibitions of all kinds. From there, I will go on to examine in detail certain exhibition case studies that have been on display in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the past five years.  Finally, I will look at the use of technology with the exhibits and museums and their commercial impact. By examining exhibitions within a localized setting, we can determine what elements are successful and what audiences can expect to see from displays of antiquities in the future.  In the nascent stages of the democratization of museums, especially in Europe, the museum was held up as a beacon of culture and light for the masses.  Public visiting hours were established so that the lower classes might improve their moral character via the contemplation of art and admission prices were lowered or abolished.  In essence, this sentiment (sanctimonious though it was) was the seed for the educational purposes that most museums now claim in their mission statements.  Today, every type of museum, from fine art to natural history, is expected to have an educational element that serves the general public.  These museums certainly continue to house and care for objects but it is their display of these objects that maintains their relevance to the public.  In order to properly evaluate the display of objects and the museums’ efficacy in educating and inspiring the visitor, we must first consider the museum institution as a whole and its place in its particular community.  1.1 New Museum Theory Janet Marstine’s introduction to new museum theory lays out four potential ‘guises’ of a museum: metaphors of museum as shrine, as market-driven industry, as colonizing space, as a post-museum.4  While no museum necessarily fits exclusively into just one paradigm, we can see that museums and exhibitions of antiquities often assert a  4 Janet Marstine, ed., New Museum Theory and Practice (Malden: Blackwell Publishing 2008) 8-9.  3 particular guise, consciously or unconsciously.   The most traditional way of conceptualizing a museum is as a shrine, a sacred space removed from the reality of our everyday life.  It is this concept that the New Yorker cartoon refers to; the museum and its objects possess the ability to inspire enlightenment and provide an experience for the visitors, an experience that presumably leaves them ‘better’ than they were.  The museum as shrine depends on the perceived authority of the museum; this authority stems immediately from the expertise and connoisseurship of the director and/or curator.  The authority of the directors and curators most often comes from their job title alone, which in turn is a result generally of their own scholarly work and research in a particular field.  Those objects that the director/curator have deemed “museum-worthy” must be masterpieces, authentic expressions of a universal truth that will guide the viewer to that experience of enlightenment. Art museums may be the most easily assigned to this category, though museums of antiquities can undoubtedly belong as well.  This should come as no surprise because antiquities museums generally do not have the responsibility of engaging the source community.  To be sure, there is the need to respect the governments and peoples that occupy the lands from which the artifacts were collected, but the museums’ responsibilities lie with the preservation of the object, not necessarily with engaging the source-community.5  The museum as shrine typifies a cultural practice of “looking” inherent in the Euro- American tradition.  This discipline of looking, as explained by Lissant Bolton, has been developed especially in art museums, where meaning of an object is comprehended by each viewer and the “wonder of it all” approach gives viewers free reign to imagine.6  The objects have been disconnected from their contexts so that they may represent and become a way to imagine those contexts.  For antiquities, an object placed alone can become more significant for having survived than for what its purpose was.  The maker or user of that object would not have necessarily have conceived of the object as having any significance outside of its use but today’s viewer regards it an object of wonder and extraordinary value for having survived.7 Fortunately, most museum theorists see the shrine guise fading into obscurity as its elitism becomes unpalatable to museum workers and visitors.  The concern of those  5 This is in direct contrast to ethnographic and anthropological museums, whose current focus has shifted to engagement with source communities and creating spaces that allow visitors to engage with those communities. 6 Lissant Bolton, “Museums and Source Communities” in Museums and Their Communities, ed. S. Watson (London: Routledge, 2007). 7 Ibid.  4 who uphold the shrine guise is that their “only other alternative is to become market- driven, to ‘give in’ to the impulse to become part of an ‘industry’ that caters to its ‘clients.’”8  This view may be advocated by museum directors and boards who seek to maintain a high level of integrity for their institution.  But they must also consider the financial stability and viability of their institution.  This leads us to the next guise of the museum, that of a market-driven industry.  This guise is most readily evident in the display and exhibition of Egyptian antiquities, a phenomenon that will be explored later in this paper.  The main motivation behind the market-driven paradigm of a museum is financial, as expected.  The need for funding can be overwhelming; much of a museum’s administrative board’s time is spent reviewing budgets and identifying new sources of funding.  In the current economic climate, these sources are becoming fewer and have less to give.  In the United States, most museums cannot rely on government funding for their operation and thus they turn to charitable giving, private donors and, increasingly, corporate funding.  As a general rule, none of these sources are completely altruistic and expect some kind of recognition and/or museum involvement in their own missions and goals. Though a museum’s financial policies and economic workings are usually kept out of the public eye, there is general recognition that museums do participate in an economic network.  Openness about the financial situations of museums, especially when those situations are dire, has become more common in recent years.  Many people in North America seem ready to acknowledge that museums must operate as businesses focused on revenue, rather than remaining above the economic fray.9  The most visible signs of a market-driven institution are the cafes and restaurants that are now attached to nearly every major museum and many smaller ones.  These culinary endeavors have grown from simple cafeterias to fine dining establishments, often a destination in themselves.10  Visitors increasingly want and expect some kind of dining option in  8 Marstine, New Museum Theory, 10 9 This is not generally the case in Europe where museums are seemingly held to a higher standard by the general population and could rely on government subsidies.  However, the economic change has forced many notable European cultural establishments to seek other funding sources.  See Doreen Carvajal, “This Space for Rent: In Europe, Arts Now Must Woo Commerce.” The New York Times, January 23, 2011, 10 The New York Times ran an article in 2010 about this growth in museum dining and highlighted some newly opened restaurants.  See Larry Rohter’s “After the Putti, the Baby Calamari” in the January 29, 2010 edition of The New York Times,  5 museums, allowing the institutions to become a single destination for a full day’s activities.  The profits created by these establishments allows the museum to rely on its own revenue and offer an enhanced museum experience. By keeping museum visitors in the building for their dining options, museums are also engaging more fully in the tourism industry.  The institutions are likely already on a tourist’s itinerary but restaurants and gift-shops ensure that the tourist’s money is more fully cycled into the museum’s revenues.  Museum gift-shops are also a highly visible source of income for the institutions.  They are often situated in central and visible areas of the museum and feature books, jewelry, reproductions of objects, and a variety of other items that may have only a tangential relation to the museum.  As with restaurants and cafes, visitors expect these stores.  They want the option to buy items ranging from simple mementos of their visit to valuable gifts.  Frequently, the stores are open to all people (not just those who have visited the museum that day) and most offer catalogs and online sales. This extends the potential consumer market and can provide substantial sales profits.  Temporary exhibitions, another significant contributor to museum income, are closely tied to the museum shops, often leading the visitor quickly through the exhibit space and depositing them directly into the shop.  Often a special exhibit will warrant its own special shop, separate from the main museum store.  Tony Bennett’s work has shown the link between museums and department stores in the 19th century, and it seems that the museum and store have grown ever more similar.11 Many elements of the corporate funding relationship will be explored later in the discussion of blockbuster exhibitions but suffice to say that these relationships often dictate the kinds of shows that a museum will put on.  Corporations in need of good publicity will fund specific shows to highlight their cultural sensitivity, and museums will avoid sensitive or obscure topics in order to curry favor with potential corporate sponsors.12   It seems likely that the majority of museums, particularly large ones, will continue to rely on corporate sponsorship of major exhibitions to fund their operations.  Philadelphia is experiencing a similar growth, most recently in the partnership of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Stephen Starr. 11 See Tony Bennett, The British Museum: History, Theory, Politics (London: Routledge, 1995) for the full argument, which includes the roles of amusement parks and international exhibitions as well as department stores in the development of museums. 12 For an example of an exhibit that did offend many parties and cause a great deal of consternation for a museum, consider the Royal Ontario Museum’s 1989-1990 show “Into the Heart of Africa.”   See Enid  6 Marstine’s other two guises of museums – colonizing spaces and post-museums – are slightly less relevant to this discussion but are certainly worth mentioning.  Museums, from their very foundations, have been colonizing spaces.  In ancient Rome, this was abundantly clear as art of newly subsumed regions was brought to Rome and publicly displayed.13  Wealthy European collectors continued the practice, ripping objects from their community sources for personal display and/or privileging Western objects over any others.14  The deeply disturbing effects of museums as colonizing spaces is most easily seen in indigenous cultures.  In the past, their cultural objects have been collected for museums (often anthropological museums) and in complete disregard for the community’s need for and proper care of the objects.  This kind of collecting practice rips the objects out of their contexts, generally leaving only the Euro-centric perspective. Fortunately, the past fifty years have seen a great shift in museum practice. Objects are no longer collected in such haphazard ways, museums are aware of their own colonizing pasts and are attempting to remedy the situation, and many objects are being repatriated to their source communities.  This all indicates extraordinary growth for museums in the area of indigenous relations.  But how does the colonial model of a museum affect Greco-Roman and Egyptian antiquities?  In some ways, the source communities for these objects no longer exist and thus the objects cannot be repatriated to that community specifically.  There is recognition, however, that the collection of these items often employed colonial power relations and so, many stolen objects are being repatriated to the contemporary countries that occupy the regions where the ancient communities once existed.  This is not an easy process as museums debate certain legalities as well as issues of access and preservation.  I do not propose to delve into examples such as the Elgin/Parthenon Marbles because much has already written about the topic by more experienced scholars and lawyers.  Yet we must recognize that many museums that display antiquities have taken advantage of the colonial process in the past and this in turn should affect how we view their collections today.  Schildkrout, “Ambiguous Messages and Ironic Twists: Into the Heart of Africa and The Other Museum,” Museum Anthropology, 15.2 (1991): 16-23, and S.R. Butler, Contested Representations: Revisiting ‘Into the Heart of Africa.’ (Peterborough, Ont.: Broadview Press, 2008). 13 Nancy H. Ramage and Andrew Ramage, Roman Art, 2nd ed. (London: Laurence King 1995) 19. 14 Kenneth Hudson, Museums of Influence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1987) 20.  7 Marstine’s final guise of the museum is, by her own estimation, the most hopeful. The post-museum paradigm suggests an institution that is beyond the terms of what we traditionally call a museum.  That is, it is a site that seeks and shares power with all communities, encourages its visitors to engage in museum discourse, acknowledges difficult issues and changing identities openly, and most importantly, seeks to balance social inequalities.15  Much of the discourse around the post-museum uses indigenous cultures of North America as examples of how the post-museum is emerging.  The National Museum of the American Indian, with its employment of indigenous peoples on all levels of museum staff, is an oft-cited example as an institution on its way to becoming a post-museum.16 It is slightly more difficult to imagine how a post-museum would handle the display of Greco-Roman and Egyptian antiquities.  These communities are so temporally distant that the ability to engage the producers and users of the artifacts is nonexistent. Perhaps, one could imagine the post-museum as a space to recognize the recurrent idealization of Greco-Roman society and attempt to show the fullness (both good and bad) of those societies.  It could address the fetishization of Egyptian culture that has occurred for thousands of years.  Perhaps, most importantly, the post-museum may be able to explore the social lives of the objects, a concept forwarded by Arjun Appadurai.17 The concept of an object having a social life of its own, outside its originating community, is particularly relevant for antiquities.  These objects cannot truly be returned to their context or the communities that used them, as a post-museum would seek to do. Thus the social lives of the objects could be the focal point.  The post-museum could trace the discovery and relocation of the objects, perhaps drawing attention to the realities of collecting before today’s legal statutes were instituted.  In so doing, the post-museum could engage in discussion of the effects of British colonialization and French cultural  15 Marstine, New Museum Theory, 19. 16 This is a matter of some debate and controversy has surrounded the NMAI since its inception.  Many say the museum continues to colonize Native American peoples, albeit with overtures of increased sensitivity.  M. Vicenti Carpio’s “(Un)disturbing Exhibitions: Indigenous Historical Memory at the NMAI” in The American Indian Quarterly 30.3&4 (2006) 619-631, explores the more negative aspects that some see in the NMAI.  For a full volume of essays exploring the context and multiple perspectives on the NMAI see A. Lonetree and A.J. Cobb-Greetham (eds.), The National Museum of the American Indian: Critical Conversations. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008). 17 Arjun Appadurai, ed., The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986).  8 colonialization on Egypt or the concept of cultural patrimony and world heritage.  While the post-museum has potential in this way, it is difficult to see how the display of antiquities as a means of education about the ancient world can fit into the model.  Still, the post-museum offers a valuable insight into the future of museum work and general and may prove useful in providing innovative ways of displaying and teaching the ancient world.  1.2 The Social Life of Things The process by which an object enters a museum can be long and complex. Antiquities, by the very nature of their age and sometimes discovery, have often passed through many hands before entering a collection.  Their journeys may be documented only in part and even this may be unverifiable.  This journey, through time and space, may have an ultimate destination in a museum collection and it is this destination that ultimately determines the value of the object.  With the presumed authority and education of its curators, museums will determine for the average person what is of value, both culturally and economically.  Because a museum has deemed it worthy of its collection, that object must have value.  The value in antiquities, like most objects, is not inherent. Appadurai’s theory is based in part on Georg Simmel’s definition of economic value. For Simmel, value is a property that comes when a judgment is made about an object by its subjects.18  Thus, when a museum and/or experts determine that an antiquity is worth acquiring, some sort of economic value is assigned to it.  It may create some discomfort to assign a numerical dollar amount to an item of cultural heritage but it is inevitable.19 The exchange of these objects drives the source of value.  The most valuable objects are often the most scarce, a concept very readily seen in antiquities.20  Here, value and price may be divorced as the objects are classified as “priceless” but a price tag is still assigned.  The cultural value of the object prevents any accurate assignment of price  18Appadurai, The Social Life of Things, 3. 19 This is often the result of a museum’s need to insure their holdings.  Despite the desire to remain free of transforming art into commodity, museums must assign monetary values to objects in order to satisfy insurance requirements. 20 Appadurai, The Social Life of Things, 4.  Consider also items such as the Euphronios krater which fetched an unprecedented $1.2 million (USD) in 1972.  Thomas Hoving, director of the Met at the time of the purchase, gives his version of the story behind this sale in his memoir Making the Mummies Dance (New York: Simon & Schuster 1993).  9 though the objects are bought and sold in both legal and illegal markets.  This is an example of what Igor Kopytoff calls “paradoxes of value.”21  The object are participating in distinct but related exchange spheres as in one sphere they have a monetary value attached to them and in another, higher sphere are deemed priceless.  But these objects can still be commodities.  In their original context, they may have been commodities as we generally define commodities but in their new context they are valued both economically and culturally.  Once these objects have been generally phased out of the commodity part of their lives, they have been singularized.  Their exchange spheres are restricted and they have been removed from their original commodity sphere.22  The antiquities displayed in this paper’s case studies are no longer the commodities they may have been originally.23  They are singular, often priceless, and generally not participating in a market economy.  Their cultural value is the focus of their biographies.  For many objects, these biographies have been reinvigorated by the archaeological discovery of the objects.  This is particularly true of the items associated with Tutankhamun that we shall see in the King Tut case study.  Howard Carter’s discovery is as much a part of the story of the objects as their original uses.  For other objects, such as those seen in “Ancient Rome & America”, part of their value is demonstrated through comparison.  The antiquities are made more relevant to the audience by their juxtaposition with early American objects, thus tying the object biographies together for the time that they are in the exhibit.  These biographies, the social lives of the objects, are as important to an audience as the original context of the object.  Though the object is separated by time and space from its origins, no moment of its existence is separated from its entire lifespan.  Today, antiquities are highly valued for their cultural singularity.  This is why museums seek them for their collections and major exhibitions are planned around them.  The museums and exhibits select certain parts of the objects’ biographies to highlight when they are on display but a viewer would do well to realize that the social life of this object extends far beyond its current state.  The social life and biography of an object can be deeply affected  21Igor Kopytoff, “The Cultural Biography of Things: Commoditization as Process,” in The Social Life of Things, ed. Arjun Appadurai, (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1986), 82. 22 Ibid., 74 23 We must be aware that not all of the antiquities were in the general commodity sphere at any point. Singular items, often those made of precious materials for elite individuals, would have been unique and not participated in a life of commodity as perhaps a simple vase would.  10 by its discovery and the subsequent acquisition process.  While exploring this aspect for the hundreds of objects in the case studies of this paper could prove interesting, it lies too far outside the scope.  However, the reader is encouraged to consider how the transition of an object from its useful life to its place in a museum can change its perceived value. The social life of things is a complex concept that can be applied to a vast range of items but it is useful in thinking about how and why we value these objects.  1.3 The Philadelphia Museum Landscape The Philadelphia museum landscape is vast, particularly when one considers the flexibility of the definition of museum.  The International Council of Museums (ICOM) adopted statutes at the 21st General Conference in 2007.  Within these was an updated definition: A museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment.24  It is easy to see how broadly this definition could be applied.  The American Association of Museums acknowledges in its Code of Ethics for Museums just how varied the institutions that can fit under the museum category are.  Their numbers include both governmental and private museums of anthropology, art history and natural history, aquariums, arboreta, art centers, botanical gardens, children's museums, historic sites, nature centers, planetariums, science and technology centers, and zoos.25  Though the AAM definition differs slightly from that of ICOM, and the United States federal government provides yet another definition in its Museum and Library Services Act, the breadth and variety of institutions under the museum umbrella is enormous.26  24 International Council of Museums (ICOM) Statutes, Internal Rules and Regulations. Approved in Vienna, August 24, 2007. 25 American Association of Museums (AAM), Code of Ethics for Museums, 2000. http://www.aam- 26 The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) uses the Museum and Library Services Act as the basis for determining its eligibility criteria.  The Act itself established the IMLS by combining two previous agencies, the Institute of Museum Services and the Library Programs Office.  The Act was established in 1996 and reauthorized in 2003 and again in 2010.  11 Philadelphia, as a long-established American city and as one of the top ten most populated American cities, has its share of institutions that can be defined as museums.27  Its historical significance for the development of the United States in the 18th century makes it particularly magnetic for museums.  Though hard data for a precise numbering of institutions that fit any of the earlier mentioned definitions of museum is difficult to obtain, one can easily find at least 150 qualifying institutions exist in Philadelphia.  Of these, only three are discussed in detail within the scope of this paper, and all are distinct in their structure and mission.  The Franklin Institute and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology have their origins in the 19th century while the National Constitution Center is a recent addition to the museum scene, having opened in 2003.  All three institutions are accredited by the American Association of Museums and thus fit under the museum category though one bills itself as a science and technology museum, another as archaeological and anthropological institution, and the third as museum dedicated to the United States Constitution. Though these are their primary subjects, we shall soon see how they all have converged at some point around the exhibition of Mediterranean and/or Egyptian antiquities. Before moving into individual histories of these institutions and subsequently the exhibition case studies, it may be valuable to briefly describe the demographics of Philadelphia and its tourism industry.  The local population surely makes up a portion of the annual museum visitors though as one would suspect, tourists are often the significant and most courted portion. This varies by institution of course, some finding more success in this area than others. However, Philadelphia County boasts a population of some 1.5 million within 135 square miles. Expanding the geographic area to the entire Delaware Valley, the population grows to 6 million.28  With such a large potential audience in the area, Philadelphia museums are in a good position to attract repeat visitors.  Yet these local visitors do not necessarily spread their numbers evenly over the variety of museums.  Established and highly visible institutions, like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Franklin Institute, are more likely to draw local and visiting audiences.  The plethora of smaller museum institutions must sustain themselves on a smaller stream (or trickle) of visitors, as if the sheer number of institutions dilutes the museum-going  27 The city of Philadelphia’s population in 2009 was 1,547,297.  The Pew Charitable Trusts Philadelphia Research Initiative. “Philadelphia: The State of the City (A 2010 Update). 28 The Delaware Valley is officially called the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington Metropolitan Statistical Area by the federal Office of Management and Budget.  The population estimates come from the 2009 Census Bureau estimates.  12 market.  Still, the Philadelphia museum and cultural scene is fairly vibrant; its niche in the American heritage story allows the city to market itself as a cultural and historical landmark and center of tourism.  Philadelphia’s role in the American Revolution affords it a special place in the nation’s history and heritage.  The historic nature of the city makes it a tourist destination, both for citizens of the United States and foreigners.  In 2009, the United States Department of Commerce Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) announced that Philadelphia saw a 29% increase in international visitors from 2007 to 2008.  The previous year, 2006-2007, saw a 27% increase, a jump that helped the city surpass the half-million mark.29  The dramatic increases are part of a general upward trend in international visitation that Philadelphia has been seeing since 2002, when the Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau (PCVB) began a targeted international marketing campaign.  The campaign was launched in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy, with the Netherlands and Ireland added the following year.  The campaign included print and television advertisements that went directly to the international travelers.  This was the first time the city had attempted to market directly to this demographic.30 Philadelphia’s increased visitation number was contrary to the negative visitation trend that the United States as a whole experienced in the post 9/11 environment.31  The Philadelphia region as whole had 31 million domestic leisure visitors in 2009, with about 75% of these visitors coming from the Middle and South Atlantic regions.32 While the Greater Philadelphia region encompasses much more than the city of Philadelphia, assuming that nearly all these visitors will at some point engage in tourism activity within the city proper is reasonably logical.  One must not assume, however, that every domestic and international visitor will visit a museum institution.  Still, total visits  29 The United States Department of Commerce, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI).  The 2008 total was 710,000 international visitors, 2007 was 560,000, and 2006 was 440,945.  Courtesy of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. kits/multicultural/philadelphia-achieves-greatest-increase-in-u-s-int/. 30 “Philadelphia One of Only Two Major Cities in the U.S. to Show and Increase in Overseas Visitation from 2000-2005.” Business Wire, June 15, 2007.;content 31 The PCVB has continued with international marketing campaigns, launching one in 2007 with great success.  Their strategic plan for 2007 outlines their strategies and actions through 2012.  Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau. From 30,000 Feet: A Strategic Plan to Take Philadelphia’s Hospitality Industry to New Heights (Philadelphia: PVCB, 2007). 32 Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC), Tourism 2010: Report to the Region (Philadelphia: Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, 2010), 24.  13 to cultural institutions (not including parks) was 15 million in Philadelphia in 2007, with school children accounting for 1.8 million visits.33  There is no doubt that city of Philadelphia serves as a major tourist attraction, for international and local visitors alike.  We can then turn to the work of Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, who says, “Tourism needs destinations and museums are premier attractions.”34  And today, more than ever, museums need tourists.  Philadelphia proves itself to be a rich location for museums because the city itself has a heritage industry that attracts visitors.  The city’s role in American history makes it an easy destination to market, something Philadelphia has done with campaigns such as the 2008 “Historic Philadelphia” effort that featured the tagline “The Liberty Bell is Only the Beginning.”35  By marketing the city itself, Philadelphia is emphasizing its heritage value and re-asserting itself as a destination. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett focuses mainly on locations that use heritage to reinvigorate themselves after their initial use has faded or on locations that are trying to boost their tourism value.  Philadelphia has less need for this because it has always been a destination, but it continues to take advantage of its historic value to attract visitors.  For museums, Philadelphia is an excellent location.  We have already seen the numbers of potential visitors the city draws, but there is another aspect of the city that lends itself well to museums and cultural institutions.  The very nature of an historic city makes it a place of authority.  Philadelphia’s ties to the building of a nation give it gravitas, as do the Founding Fathers who met or lived there.36  This history not only provides locations for tourist activities but makes the entire city a destination.  Certainly, tourism is concentrated in Center City and Old City, leaving vast swathes of Philadelphia  33 Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, 2008 Portfolio. (Philadelphia: Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, 2008).  The 15 million visits account only for those visits to the 182 institutions that are members of the GPCA.  Accounting for visit by school children is helpful in distinguishing which visits were undertaken completely voluntarily versus those that are simply part of the curriculum. 34 Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Destination Culture: Tourism, Museums, Heritage (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998), 132. 35 The past five years have seen a number of tourism campaigns launched by the GPTMC, some targeting specific demographics.  These include: “Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay”, “Philly’s More Fun When You Sleep Over”, “Philly 360”, and the current campaign, “With Love, Philadelphia XOXO.” 36 Some of these Founding Fathers can still be seen walking the streets of historic Philadelphia.  Historic Philadelphia, Inc. runs an attraction called “Once Upon a Nation” that features actors in period dress telling stories about various historical people and events.  These characters can include John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin.  The role of Benjamin Franklin is highly sought after in Philadelphia and can be a full-time job.  14 off the tourist itinerary but these tourist areas are a consistent attraction as they constitute the places where American culture and history were in their nascent stages.  The city’s Parkway Museums district, the area in which the Franklin Institute is located, is another major tourism location, beyond the Independence Mall area.  The Benjamin Franklin Parkway, stretching from near City Hall in the southeast to the Philadelphia Art Museum in the northwest, is home to a variety of museums and cultural institutions.37  Any major event at one of these venues can be a boon to its neighboring institutions and its tourism draw has also made it an excellent location for hotels, further expanding its ability to attract visitors.  The city of Philadelphia, though often overshadowed in popular opinion by its neighbors New York and Washington D.C., has consistently remained a major metropolis with both realized and potential tourist attractions.  It is for this reason that it is a valuable location for studying the museum field, both whole institutions as well as temporary exhibits.  The history and growth of museums can be tracked closely in this city and many museum innovations are evident. Having examined the city briefly, we may now turn to the case studies themselves.  37 These include among others: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rodin Museum, Franklin Institute, Academy of Natural Sciences, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Barnes Foundation (to open in Spring of 2012).  15 Chapter  2: Exhibition Case Studies 2.1 King Tutankhamun As this thesis was coming together, Egypt forcefully and suddenly entered the American consciousness as its citizens began protesting Hosni Mubarak’s regime. Inspired by Tunisia’s recent revolution, Egyptians took to the streets to demand a new government.  Violent clashes with the police and the shutdown of all Internet services in Egypt brought worldwide attention.  Mubarak and his cabinet have since stepped down, allowing Egypt to hopefully progress towards a more democratic and open government. While Egypt’s future stability remains to be seen, these recent events have shown much of the Western world what Egypt’s current reality is.  Before this, it is likely that if one asked a young person from the United States or Canada what they knew about Egypt, they would have answered with remarks recalling the pyramids and pharaohs.  While current events may help expand and dimensionalize Egypt in the common imagination, the persistent image of Egypt’s pharaonic past is not easily displaced.  Exhibits featuring Tutankhamun and Cleopatra particularly capture the popular imagination of American audiences. Tutankhamun’s grave goods first made an appearance in the United States between 1961 and 1963.  The Department of Antiquities of the United Arab Republic allowed 34 artifacts from Tut’s tomb and the tomb of other Egyptian elites to tour in North America, stopping in eighteen U.S. cities and six Canadian cities.  The exhibition, entitled Tutankhamun Treasures, spent approximately a month at primarily art museums, though natural history museums are also included.  It was organized in part by Dr. Froelich Rainey of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, thus making that institution a stop on the tour.  The exhibition traveled internationally as well.  The exhibition’s purpose was to stimulate interest and support for the UNESCO-sponsored salvage project for monuments and artifacts threatened by the Aswan Dam project. 38  38 “Tutankhamun Treasures”, Art International 6, (1962): 51.  16 The original exhibition “Treasures of Tutankhamun” traveled to seven U.S. cities from 1976 to 1979. 39   It attracted some 8 million visitors, ushering in the age of “museum blockbusters” and setting the benchmark for all future traveling exhibitions. The exhibition stayed at each of its stops for four months, displaying fifty-five objects lent by the Egyptian Antiquities Museum in Cairo.  The consortium of American museums (headed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York) worked closely with the Egyptian Organization of Antiquities to develop the exhibition’s U.S. tour; the exhibition had already been traveling worldwide since 1972 with great success but frosty relations between Egypt and the U.S. prevented any U.S. stops.  However, in 1973, the U.S. interceded on Egypt’s behalf during a conflict with Israel, and the newly joint political clout of then-presidents Richard M. Nixon and Mohamed Anwar el-Sadat provided the final impetus for the U.S. tour of  “Treasures of Tutankhamun.”40 The 1970s exhibit was celebrating the 55th anniversary of Howard Carter’s 1922 discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art provided excavation photographs by Harry Burton to supplement the artifacts and provide a sense of the excitement of the discovery.  In keeping with this, the exhibition curators organized the artifacts according to the rooms in which they were excavated, allowing the visitor to share the thrill of discovery. Burton’s photographs showed the object in situ revealing in part the process of archaeological excavation.  The success of the exhibition was unprecedented.  The United States found itself in a phase of Egyptomania, or more specifically, Tut-mania.41  Visitors stood in lines for up to eight hours for a chance to see the antiquities, including one of the golden funeral masks.  Museum and souvenir shops suddenly became profitable endeavors.  To many in the museum field, this was the birth of the blockbuster.  39 The participating institutions were: the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, New Orleans Museum of Art, Los Angeles Museum of Art, Seattle Art Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y., and the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco. 40 Nixon visited Egypt in June of 1974, a visit that resulted in the signing of an agreement called “Principles of Relations and Cooperation Between Egypt and the United States.”  In the third to last paragraph, the U.S. “agreed to consider how it might assist the Egyptian Government in the reconstruction of Cairo’s Opera House.”  Egypt agreed to placing the “Treasures of Tutankhamun” on exhibit in the U.S. John T. Woolley and Gerhard Peters, The American Presidency Project [online]. (Santa Barbara, CA: University of California at Santa Barbara, 2011). 41 Tut-mania extended to Britain where the exhibit was first shown in 1972 at the British Museum.  The show also traveled to the U.S.S.R., Canada, and West Germany, where these was similar excitement.  17 “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of Pharaohs” launched its U.S. tour in June 2005. The concept of the exhibition originated at the Museum of Ancient Art in Basel, Switzerland, and more than 120 objects were chosen by Basel’s Museum of Ancient Art curators with agreement from Egypt’s Secretary General for the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass. The popularity of the exhibit “Tut: The Golden Beyond” spurred the Egyptian government to make an agreement with Germany, and the exhibit was moved directly from Basel to the Kunst und Ausstellungshalle in Bonn, Germany.  It remained there from November 2004-May 2005.42 It was quickly determined that a North American tour would prove highly successful and the exhibit was adapted accordingly after a joint proposal from Arts and Exhibits International (AEI) and National Geographic was approved by Hawass.43  The original four cities chosen to host this latest tour – Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, Chicago, and Philadelphia – repeated some of the original tour locations, but not all.44  London was also added to the original tour and the exhibit moved from Philadelphia in 2007 to London’s O2 Bubble.  With unprecedented success, four more cities were added to the tour: Dallas, San Francisco, New York, and Melbourne.45  It was the last U.S. stop in North America that created some news. Philippe de Montebello, then-head curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, refused the exhibition, despite the Met having hosted the 1970s incarnation.  Montebello stated, “It’s not worth the cost, the hassle, the difficulty of setting up the whole infrastructure.  The Metropolitan has a pay-as-you-wish policy.”46  In order to accommodate a stop in New York City, exhibition organizers teamed up with the Discovery Times Square Exposition which offered its newly opened 50,000 square-foot space for the show.  During a press viewing of the exhibit at the Discovery Center, “Hawass revealed that he was not happy about the new venue, calling it ‘too commercial.’ He said he preferred to have the exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.” 47 The Met declined the offer because it did not want to charge its patrons the admission fee for a  42 Julie Beizer, Julia Susan Breitkopf, and Amanda Litvinow, “Marketing the King: Tut 2 and the New Blockbuster,” Museum News 84.6 (2005): 38. 43 Ibid., 40 44 The exhibit was displayed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art, the Chicago Field Museum, and the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. 45 In addition to The O2 Bubble in London, this “encore” tour was displayed at the Dallas Museum of Art, San Francisco’s De Young Museums, New York’s Discovery Times Square space, and the Melbourne Museum. 46 Jimmy Dunn, “The U.S. King Tut Exhibit Tour.” (Tour Egypt, 2005.) 47 Walden Siew, “King Tut Returns to NY for Last Leg of U.S. Exhibit.” Reuters, April 22, 2010.  18 special exhibit and the exhibition opened in the Discovery Times Square Exposition space in April 2010.  This was the final North American stop as the exhibit traveled to Melbourne, Australia before returning to Egypt. The exhibit was then finally displayed in nine locations, ranging from art museums to exposition spaces.  From the original locations and Hawass’ remarks about the Met, it appears that Hawass and the exhibition creators may have wished the exhibit to be housed primarily in art museums.  The inclusion of the Field Museum and the Franklin Institute was likely based on the 1970s tour and because these locales have high population centers.48  Though both cities have world-renowned art museums, those venues did not seem to have been under consideration. James Cuno, president and director of the Art Institute of Chicago, has been an outspoken critic about blockbuster exhibits, saying that they “came to dominate the museum’s activity and people’s expectations of the museum.”49 Both the Art Institute of Chicago and the Philadelphia Art Museum cited the additional admission fee required by its organizers as a reason for their passing on the show.50  The Field Museum and the Franklin Institute were suited to the blockbuster intentions of the exhibit better, as well as having longstanding relationships with Egypt.51 The Discovery Times Square (DTS) space and The O2 Bubble in London are true indications of the exhibit in Marstine’s blockbuster guise.  These spaces are not traditional museums in any sense but rather entertainment spaces.  To be sure, the DTS markets itself as “more than a museum”52 and it has thus far shown exhibitions that would be at home in a traditional museum.  It seems to have provided a convenient space for large exhibitions that would expect large crowds in New York.  Its marketing and location might also allow it to reach audiences that may not be reached by more traditional museums.  Certainly, a huge tourist population is more likely to pay attention to Times Square attractions than to the presumed more staid and traditional museums.  The O2, located on the Greenwich peninsula in southeast  48 That Philadelphia would be a central stop on the tour must have been a given since the conception of the tour.  Earlier exhibitions had seen great success there and Egyptologists and scholars from the University of Pennsylvania have been involved with Tut exhibitions since the beginning. 49 Kevin Nance, “ The Art of the Blockbuster.” Chicago Sun-Times, July 10, 2005. 50 Ben Sisario, “In Times Square, A Place for Grand Exhibitions.” The New York Times, June 4, 2009. 51 Curators at the Field Museum have worked in Egypt and with Hawass for a long time while the Franklin Institute has a working relationship with the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.  Hawass has his own connection with the University of Pennsylvania, having completed his PhD there in 1987.  He personally chose David Silverman, of the Penn Museum, to curate the exhibit. 52 “About DTS,” Discovery Times Square, accessed May 26, 2011.  19 London, is an entertainment district, a term that encompasses an indoor arena, cinema, shopping center, exhibition space, and restaurants and bars.  It was developed by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the corporate holder of AEI, making it an obvious stop for a blockbuster exhibition.  The Tut exhibit was the first in The O2’s exhibition space, though closely followed by “Body Worlds”, Michael Jackson’s official exhibition, and currently “Titanic: The Artefact Exhibition.”53  Though The O2 is on a much larger scale than the DTS, they are of a type: spaces dedicated strictly to traveling exhibitions that are outside the traditional museum guise.  They are perfectly suited to the blockbuster exhibition and connections between the spaces and the partners who develop the exhibitions create an easy feedback loop.  With the creation of more exhibits in this style, especially those created by AEG and similar companies, we can likely expect similar exposition spaces to open in major cities to accommodate the growing scale of the exhibits. Keeping in mind the variety of locales for the exhibit, we can now turn to a review of the exhibit itself.  The following is based on personal visits to the exhibit when it was at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and at the Discovery Times Square space in New York City.  The two visits provide a basic overview of the exhibit itself but will also provide two vastly different visitor experiences.  The exhibit description is a composite picture of the two visits and the major difference between Philadelphia and New York will be explored later. The visitor first enters through monumental doors into a dark screening room.  Here, the group watches a ninety second video that introduces the exhibit and King Tut.  Upon conclusion of the video, doors open to reveal the first portion of the exhibit.   This section explores Egypt before Tutankhamun.  It primarily features funerary goods from Amenhotep III and other pharaohs of the 18th Dynasty.  The room and artifact cases are primarily tan in color (presumably to create the effect of sand and desert) with shades of blue as well (to remind visitors of the Nile and perhaps open skies).54  Some perfunctory maps of Egypt show the course of the Nile, major cities, and the distinction between upper and lower Egypt.  The display cases have the same text on top of the case as well as below, a feature that is necessary when the exhibit is crowded.  The object labels include standard information: name of object, dynasty, material, and location.  The intention of this room is to create a sense of the state of Egypt before Tut and introduce his lineage.  The audio tour provides details of particular objects as well as certain excavation facts.  53 The Titanic exhibition was also at Discovery Times Square in 2010. 54 It should be noted that the reality of the Nile’s color is not as brilliantly blue as we might imagine.  Like any other major river, its waters can be brownish and murky.  20 Notable names such as Nefertiti appear and help the visitor situate himself in ancient Egypt and situate Tut in a dynastic line. Having been introduced to the 18th Dynasty in general, the exhibit moves into a room that explores daily life.  The objects featured here are meant to give an indication of what Tut’s daily life may have been like.  They include drinking bowls, cosmetic containers, perfume bottles, and a dog collar.  The objects are all mounted on tan bases with glass covers.  Most of the objects do not belong to Tut himself but are merely grave goods that represent a general sense of life, particularly for the upper class.  The following gallery explains traditional beliefs of the 18th Dynasty, a topic that will become more important later in the exhibit with the discussion of the reigns of Akhenaten and Tut.  Statues and statuettes of the human-animal hybrid gods comprise most of the objects.  The text explains some of the hierarchy of gods and what spheres of influence they had.  Here, a few of the objects do come from Tut’s tomb as these items represent the traditional beliefs that Tut espoused. After learning about traditional religion, the exhibit moves into a room that highlights Akhenaten and his religious revolution.  The exhibit states that Akhenaten was likely Tut’s father and this now brings us closer to Tut himself.  The gallery explains the shift from worship of the entire pantheon to the worship of primarily Aten and the move of the capital city to Amarna. The shift in artistic style is highlighted with a balustrade of Akhenaten and his family and with images of the well-known relief of Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and children beneath the sun disc. A colossal head of Akhenaten is mounted on a high block and visitors are reminded that this man was likely Tut’s father. The unrest and disorder that this shift caused helps set the stage for the following galleries which will focus on Tut himself.  The Akhenaten gallery also shifted the color scheme of the exhibit as shades of red and orange become more prevalent.  Though this may not be consciously observed by all visitors, it provides a subtle separation of Akhenaten from the traditional Egypt previously explored. As the visitor progresses to the next room, the wall colors shift to grey and white. Photographs from the 1922 Carter expedition and old newspaper articles are mounted on the walls.  A clip from a newsreel declaring the discovery is projected on another wall.  Here the visitors are finally given a chance to experience the sensation and news that the Tut discovery caused in 1922.  Much of that older sentiment seems to have continued into today and similar excitement could be seen in those cities that were preparing for the arrival of the exhibit itself. Another shift in the next gallery brings darker colors as visitors are taught about death, burial, and the afterlife in ancient Egypt.  Somber chanting audio creates a new soundscape for  21 visitors and prepares them for the true highlight of the exhibit, Tut’s tomb.  Coffins, amulets, funerary goods, and images of wall decorations in tombs help explain the process of burial and beliefs about the afterlife.  The dark walls set off the gold objects.  Mounted excavation photographs are paired with actual objects from the tomb, allowing visitors to see what Carter and his team saw.  Many visitors seemed intrigued by these photographs as the disorderly arrangement of the tomb goods was unexpected.  Many also seemed to enjoy locating the displayed object in the photograph.  This aspect of the exhibit was highly successful as it capitalized on elements of Appadurai’s theory of the social life of objects.  While the artifacts themselves have value in what they can teach us about the 18th Dynasty, the perceived value of the objects is heightened by the story of their discovery and the semi-mythologized individuals. Though the exhibit does not play on the legend of King Tut’s curse, these stories and more have mythologized Tut and his tomb from the time of discovery.   The exhibit emphasizes the moment of discovery by placing a quotation from Carter on a dark wall.  In gold letters, visitors read, “Presently, details of the room emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues and gold -  everywhere the glint of gold...”  This sentiment is mirrored in the display of the gold objects. Visitors are able to look around a dark room and see the gold shining brightly in the display lights.  The objects show Tut’s role as a commander and high priest.  Objects used by Tut himself in his daily life help explain the public and private life of the boy-king.  Many of these items are of the same type as seen in the previous gallery that explored daily life in Egypt generally.  These objects, however, were recovered from Tut’s tomb and thus can be associated directly with him.  This gallery helps explain Tut’s reassertion of traditional beliefs after Akhenaten’s Amarna period and Tut’s brief reign. The next artifact gallery is as close to the mummy and funerary mask that visitors can get without visiting Egypt.   In the center of the room, a large rectangular block rises from the ground with five display cases surrounding it.  These cases house objects that were found in and with the mummy of Tut. The block is the same size as Tut’s sarcophagus; inlaid on it are the outlines of the three nested coffins.  A projector from above cycles through a series of illuminations that show X-ray like views of the layers of the coffins and the mummy.  The visitor can see the various objects that were found in the mummy wrappings and move outward to the funerary mask and through the coffins. From here, the visitor proceeds through a short hallway that explains some of the recent discoveries that science and technology have revealed about Tut, his death, and his family. Recent DNA and pathology reports, explained by Zahi Hawass in a video, demonstrate Tut’s  22 likely club foot and his death from an infection in his broken leg.  A family tree shows the regular practice of incest in the royal family which would explain some of Tut’s health issues.  A bust of Tut’s recreated head is displayed and visitors are allowed to touch it.  BBC footage of the 1970s exhibit is projected on the wall, which allows visitors to examine another generation’s Tutmania.  This small gallery brings an end to the exhibit and visitors funnel directly into the exhibition and/or museum shop. As mentioned previously, Appadurai’s “social life of objects” theory is prominently seen in the excavation photographs that were a part of the 1970s and the most recent exhibition.  The discovery of the pieces has become as much a part of their story as their original use.  Indeed, there is acknowledgment within the exhibition texts that Tutankhamun would have been relegated to a minor note in the history books had his tomb not been discovered.  The excavation photographs show us the precise moments when these objects took on a meaning greater than their intended purpose.  Their original value to the Egyptian society that created them is not the same value our own Western society places on them; thus the biography of the objects themselves has become the point of interest.  The original purpose of the tomb objects is known and explained in the exhibits and comparable pieces can be found in museums around the world. But the Tut artifacts have taken on an aura of mystery and wonder beyond these others.  Carter’s 1922 expedition, both literally and figuratively, removed the objects from the context.  They were taken out of the tomb where they had lain for thousands of years and put on display for the world.  The subsequent rumors of mummy’s curses created yet another layer to the object biographies. The next step in their social lives came with the traveling exhibitions.  The 1970s tour re- animated the objects and introduced them to a new audience.  While the objects themselves were fascinating, the response to them (the blockbuster effect) is the latest element of their social lives.  The latest tour takes advantage of the success of the 1970s tour in its own promotion and emphasizes the “limited time only” aspect of the exhibit.  The purpose and use of the objects has become less relevant than the discussion about how popular they are.  There cannot be any demand to physically own, buy/sell, or trade these objects as commodities but there is an extraordinary demand to view them.  They are now an economic entity in that they are being conspicuously and visually consumed and generating a profit.  The exchange is not money for an object or an object for an object, but money for an experience.  That experience, nominally educational, but in practice for entertainment, is primarily access to objects that would otherwise  23 be inaccessible to most people.  This inaccessibility allows the exhibition producers to charge high admission fees and still expect enormous crowds.  2.1.1  New York vs. Philadelphia The New York exhibit differed from the one in Philadelphia in a variety of ways.  A number of objects were added to the exhibit, including a chariot that some scholars think may have played a part in Tut’s death.  A video shows a re-creation of the chariot and how it operated in real life.  A small room was added onto the exhibit after the tomb gallery that featured objects from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  These are some of the nineteen small objects that the Met announced in November of 2010 would be repatriated to Egypt.55  They are all attributed to Tut’s tomb. The presence of these objects in the exhibit is another welcome display of the social life of objects.  Always a hot button topic in the museum world, repatriation of these objects shows the increased willingness of world museums to voluntarily return objects.  It should be noted that Zahi Hawass has been engaged, sometimes combatively, with museums all over the world regarding repatriation.56  While repatriation issues may not be of immediate concern for most visitors to the exhibit, it does show some of the negotiations that occur around ancient artifacts.  The other major difference between my visit experience was the number of people present.  All stops of the exhibit had timed entry tickets which could be purchased prior to a visit or on-site.  My visit to the Franklin Institute was in the middle of a weekday during the summer which reduced the crowds.  There were no queues for tickets and less than ten people had the same entry time as I did.  The lack of crowds could also be explained as my visit occurred in the middle of the exhibit’s stay in Philadelphia; not surprisingly the first and last weeks of an exhibit’s stay are often the busiest.  My experience in New York was vastly different.  People queued for hours to purchase their tickets and then waited up to an hour more to actually enter the exhibit.  It was clear that the organizers were pushing as many people through the exhibit as possible, as the introductory room with the video was completely filled.  Every gallery of the exhibit in New York was also completely full, causing visitors to jostle into each other and certainly not allowing the time or space to see everything on display.  Crowds of this size were expected as the visit occurred in late December, just before the exhibit was scheduled to close.  55 Kate Taylor, “Met is to Repatriate to Egypt Artifacts from King Tut’s Tomb.” The New York Times. November 10, 2010. 56 It seems that Hawass and the current director of the Met, Thomas P. Campbell, have a better relationship than Hawass had with Montebello.  24 The exhibit’s stay in New York was extended to January 17th, 2011 but crowds of this size continued.  The presence of sizable crowds in New York replicated the crowds that attended the 1970s exhibition.  Certainly, organizers could consider this second Tut exhibition wildly successful.  These large crowds, however, compromise the visitor experience.  The experience that exhibit creators are hoping to give visitors simply cannot hold up to crowds.  One is essentially swept along in the crowds, jostled and jostling to see the objects and read the text. Any soundscape experience is drowned out by the noise of the crowd.  Exhibit designers seem to have been aware of some aspects, as seen in the display of the same text both above and below the display cases.  Yet this was not enough as a visitor had to firmly plant oneself in front of the case in order to both read the text and observe the object.  Finding the space and time to stand in one place to listen to an entire audio selection from the audio tour was also nearly impossible. Visitors seem to have found themselves shuffling along at a constant pace, following the route of everyone else.  Unfortunately, the experience of walking into each new room and seeing the entirety of the design was also eliminated by crowds.  Most people felt a constant pressure to continue moving along.  Exhibit organizers recommended ninety minutes for a complete viewing of the exhibit, a recommendation I observed in both cases, but the quality of those ninety minutes was drastically different.  Clearly, a high volume of visitors is desired by the exhibit creators and the exhibition spaces.  Limited engagements in each city also create high demand in the last few weeks which affects visitor experience.  The success of Tut exhibitions indicates that this blockbuster type exhibition will continue and visitors ought to expect queues and crowded galleries, unless visiting at off-peak times.  Designers can work to accommodate these crowds with multiple copies of the same text being displayed, large font sizes on the text to allow visitors to read from farther away, and perhaps very clear paths through the exhibition.  This last feature, though typically undesirable for visitors who want to make their own experience, is a necessary element of crowd control.  Timed entry to exhibits is useful though cannot prevent long queues and full galleries.  Despite these differences, the exhibit remained consistent enough that visitors at all of the stops could be assured of very similar experiences.  Smaller, secondary exhibitions at various museums have opened to take advantage of the momentum spurred by the central King Tut exhibit.  Museums with Egyptology sections have crafted exhibits that can supplement the King  25 Tut exhibit or, in cases of locations that are distant from any of the tour’s stops, that can provide a taste of Egyptomania.  2.2 Cleopatra Hard on the heels of the success of “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs”, another Egyptian exhibit was planned for North America.  “Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt” had its world premiere at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia in June 2010.57  Its six- month stay there was followed by a six-month stay at the Cincinnati Museum Center in 2011.58 Future North American locations are presently being negotiated.   The Franklin Institute, as mentioned, also hosted the Tutankhamun exhibit in 2007, though the 1970s exhibit never visited Philadelphia.  National Geographic and Arts and Exhibitions International (AEI), the same organizers of the Tut exhibit, developed the show with the aid of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities and the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology (IEASM). As expected, Dr. Zahi Hawass, former Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, was intimately involved in the production of the show and his (at the time) on-going expeditions are heavily featured.  The underwater archaeological work of Dr. Franck Goddio, director of IEASM, is also central to the show.  Given the involvement of many of the same partners as from the King Tut show, the exhibition experience felt very similar.  Visitors were ushered into a dark room and shown a short video to set the stage for the exhibition.  The video features some historical re-enactments and plays up the myths of Cleopatra; her face (or that of the woman playing her) is never shown. Upon completion of the video, doors opened below the screen and visitors begin the exhibition by walking over a transparent walkway.  Below their feet is sand with various objects nestled into it, a re-creation of the seafloor with artifacts to be retrieved.  The walkway leads into the Canopus room.  This space explains the city of Canopus and why it would be relevant to  57 Another Cleopatra exhibit was shown in Rome, London, and Chicago from 2000-2002.  “Cleopatra of Egypt: From History to Myth” was organized by The British Museum and the Fondazione Memmo. Much of the content was similar (sans the work of Hawass and Goddio) but the exhibits were distinct shows. 58 This venue in Cincinnati has hosted and created other notable exhibits, including “Real Pirates”, “America I Am” (also shown at the National Constitution Center), and “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit”.  It seems that the Cincinnati Museum Center has emerged as a successful blockbuster venue in the Midwest.  26 Cleopatra.  The room explains the religious significance of the city, as well as some of the basic stories of Osiris, Isis, and Serapis.  Cleopatra’s affiliation with Isis is emphasized as well as the luxury and indulgence that could be enjoyed at Canopus.  Statuary, coins, and jewelry comprise most of the objects.  In one corner of the room, a screen shows a cartoon (almost in anime style) that tells the story of the Osiris and Isis myth.  The audio of this video extended far beyond its viewing space, inserting itself into the already voluble “soundscape” created by exhibition planners.  This “soundscape” seems intended to give the impression of an underwater atmosphere, verging on ethereal.  This sensation is amplified by the use of the color blue on the walls and wavering lights to simulate a wave motion.  The background music verges on obtrusively loud and is constant throughout the exhibit.  Audio hot-spots are scattered in this room and throughout.  These areas feature a short video (approximately three to four minutes) with accompanying audio that is accessible to a group of people all at once.  These hot-spots also add to the auditory experience, one that feels rather overwhelming at times.  The visitor is exposed to the background soundscape, audio hot- spots, and their own personal audio tours.  While these are all intended to provide an experience for visitors, encouraging them to feel outside their daily life and to enter this long past world, the result is instead overwhelming.  Though museum-going experiences need not (and should not) be silent, visitors do need some auditory calm in order to absorb the information they are listening to from the audio guide or from the hot-spot.  These should not compete with each other or with the visitor to visitor interaction.  It should also be noted that the information provided by the hot- spots does not seem particularly relevant to the objects in the adjacent area or explain the theme of the area at all.  The inclusion of these is puzzling because audio tours were included in the price of admission.  Were this not the case, the audio spots could provide some auditory stimulation for those visitors who did not opt for the audio tour.  As it is, they simply are another element of competition for the viewers’ attention.  Moving on from the Canopus room, the visitor confronts two colossal statues of a Ptolemaic king and queen.  The largest objects in the exhibition, they provide a transition into the Heracleion room.  This section focuses on that city and its relevance to Cleopatra as well as bringing attention to her Greek ancestry.  The city’s role as the traditional place of investment of royal power is highlighted.  Its military significance is also discussed.  It is this room that brings Franck Goddio’s underwater excavations to the forefront.  Pictures of Goddio’s excavation of Heracleion are blown up to larger than life-size and posted on the walls.  Often these photographs show a displayed object in situ before Goddio’s efforts recovered it.  Video screens  27 show actual footage of the excavation, often providing more information about the excavation process and the objects themselves than the wall text and object labels.  The emphasis on the archaeological process and fleetingly on certain technology used is apt for the exhibit’s presence in the Franklin Institute as its mission is particularly related to science and technology.  The final of the three cities is Alexandria.  The visitor is welcomed into this section by large sphinxes.  Elements of daily life are explored in this area as the exhibit begins to focus more closely on Cleopatra herself and the exhibit progresses toward its own end as well as the end of Cleopatra’s life.  As Alexandria would have been Cleopatra’s main residence, the focus on what may have constituted her daily life is apt.  It also provides a clear transition from the previous galleries (which roughly sketched life in Ptolemaic Egypt) to the following ones that will focus entirely on Cleopatra.  One must acknowledge that the bulk of the artifacts seen thus far did not necessarily belong to Cleopatra or even to the time in which she lived.  While the exhibit is named after her, half of the exhibit is in reality an exploration of Ptolemaic Egypt and three important cities with underwater excavations done by Franck Goddio.  This gives the visitor a rather disjointed experience; one might wonder what the true focus of the exhibit is.  It might be Ptolemaic Egypt in general, Cleopatra specifically, or the archaeological process of discovery and recovery.  An attempt at creating a unifying theme is made by the use of Cleopatra’s voice on the audio tour (to be discussed later) and by certain phrases in the wall text. These indicate that the displayed artifacts are similar to what Cleopatra may have had or used herself.  Relating the cities’ importance to Cleopatra also serves to create a unifying thread for the visitor.  Nevertheless, observant visitors will realize that the artifacts are merely giving a sketch of upper class Ptolemaic Egypt in general, rather than Cleopatra’s life specifically.  It is in the next room that the visitor finally comes face to face with Cleopatra.  Here the emphasis is on Cleopatra’s power, charisma, and renown for beauty.  The visitor is welcomed into the gallery by a third century BCE statue of a Ptolemaic queen.  With the sheer drapery clinging to her body, the visitor is immediately encouraged to reflect on the myths of Cleopatra’s beauty.  The statue is headless however which enables the visitor to enter into the section that discusses the potential realities of Cleopatra’s visage.  A case full of jewelry wows visitors and indicates the level of luxury and wealth afforded the queen.  It helps create an image of how a queen might adorn herself; still, in reading the object labels one finds that the jewelry does not necessarily date to Cleopatra’s life and thus only provides a rough sketch of the woman herself.  28 On the wall nearby is a quote from third century CE writer Cassius Dio beginning with, “For she was a woman of surpassing beauty…”59  Thus far the visitor has been operating under the assumption of Cleopatra’s beauty and that an ancient writer has agreed (albeit one who would never had actually seen her) confirms the assumption.  But a video screen nearby, as well as wall text, tells a different story.  Using coinage and other artifacts from Cleopatra’s era, one sees an entirely different woman.  The video emphasizes that these depictions are official royal portraitures and must align to previously established standards of what a ruler must look like. This may give the visitor the impression that these perhaps less appealing images are simply standard practice and do not accurately portray the queen.  There seems to be a subtle suggestion that the myths surrounding Cleopatra’s appearance are indeed true and so the exhibit essentially fulfills the average visitor’s expectations.  This visitor likely entered thinking Cleopatra was extraordinarily beautiful, and though some doubt may have been cast upon this by the video images, the visitor will still leave the exhibit with this impression.  The exhibit fails to acknowledge that modern standards of beauty are not necessarily the same as those in the ancient world, a point that could have provided context for the various images of and writings about Cleopatra.  After seeing the queen’s face, or what it might have been, the visitor walks through a winding hallway to come upon the gallery dedicated to the search for Cleopatra’s tomb.  A tri- panel video screen features Zahi Hawass at the site of Taposiris Magna.  He gives a brief and dramatic introduction to the site and sensationally indicates that this is where Cleopatra and her lover Marc Antony were buried.  Continuing into the room, the visitor reads wall text that explains Kathleen Martinez’s theory about Taposiris Magna.60  Free-standing cases display some  59 The full section from Cassius Dio is, “For she was a woman of surpassing beauty, and at that time, when she was in the prime of her youth, she was most striking; she also possessed a most charming voice and a knowledge of how to make herself agreeable to every one. Being brilliant to look upon and to listen to, with the power to subjugate every one, even a love-sated man already past his prime, she thought that it would be in keeping with her rôle to meet Caesar, and she reposed in her beauty all her claims to the throne. She asked therefore for admission to his presence, and on obtaining permission adorned and beautified herself so as to appear before him in the most majestic and at the same time pity-inspiring guise. When she had perfected her schemes she entered the city (for she had been living outside of it), and by night without Ptolemy's knowledge went into the palace.”  Roman History XLII.34.  The exhibition used only portions of it that emphasize Cleopatra’s beauty and charm without giving the context. 60 I have much to say about this theory, Kathleen Martinez, and its inclusion in the exhibit but am unable to expand on the topic due to space restrictions.  It is important to note however that Martinez is not a trained archaeologist.  One might say that her association with the media-favorite Hawass has allowed her far more publicity (and thus popular validation of theories) than she would have enjoyed otherwise.  A July 2011 article by Chris Brown in National Geographic Magazine features the Taposiris Magna  29 small finds from the site, with text indicating that these may have been part of Cleopatra’s and Marc Antony’s burial.  The wall text indicates that Martinez used historical documents to pinpoint Taposiris Magna as the site though the explanation ends there.  The exhibit gives no indication of what sources she used nor how the theory is accepted in scholarly circles.  Most visitors will accept this theory as fact given the presumed authority of the exhibit.  Because it is included in a museum-like experience, the typical visitor will accept it at face-value.  The hype and excitement with which the theory is presented appeals to the visitor’s popular perception of archaeological adventures but does not serve as a realistic picture of either the archaeological or scholarly process. The visitor continues on past this to another narrow hallway.  In this space Franck Goddio is featured in a video.  He sits in front of a computer with infrared archaeological maps on it, giving the viewers a peek at the science behind archaeology.  However, he does not explain the excavation process or the maps but rather states that Hawass has found many things at the Taposiris Magna site and that it is very exciting.  He does not provide any specific information which can leave the visitor wanting to hear about these finds.  The visitor, however, can appreciate seeing both Hawass and Goddio on screen as these men were major driving forces behind the exhibition.  In the exhibit journey, the visitor has now reached the final stage. Cleopatra has been buried and potentially rediscovered.  The final room, “Legend Continues”, highlights the popular perception of Cleopatra and her story since her own death.  The walls are covered with paintings, drawings, movie posters, and the like.  A large screen cycles through movie clips of the many famous portrayals of Cleopatra on film.  The visitor is left with a final image of Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra.  This is a puzzling way to end the exhibit as just a few moments before the exhibit explained that we do not precisely know what she looked like.  The exhibit has heretofore been attempting to give a realistic picture of Ptolemaic Egypt and Cleopatra’s life but it leaves the visitor with the Hollywood version of Cleopatra that they have already known.  This seems, in some ways, counterproductive as it reaffirms what the visitor already expected.  Yet, as we have seen, many visitors go to museums and exhibits to have their own views affirmed by an authoritative voice.   This exhibit is no different.  Shattering the myths  excavation and Martinez, further validating the theory for the average reader.  The article states, “If Cleopatra's tomb is ever found, the archaeological sensation would be rivaled only by Howard Carter's unearthing of the tomb of King Tut in 1922.”  This statement may help explain why the exhibition producers were so keen to include the Taposiris Magna theory.   30 and truly altering the popular perception of Cleopatra would damage the exhibit’s potential to draw visitors.  As a blockbuster style exhibit it must play to the general population and play to the popular conceptions.61  The finale of the exhibit, however, is another reminder of Appadurai’s theory.  The social life of these objects is profoundly influenced by the mythologizing of Cleopatra and her life. The Hollywood movies that have been produced about her and the countless articles and books that intend to bring the historic figure to life for readers are the background from which exhibition viewers approach the objects.  The value of the objects is increased because Cleopatra is an icon in popular culture.  Unlike Tutankhamun, Cleopatra’s place as a significant person in history was always assured.  Thus, an exhibit does not require the excitement of discovery and excavation (as with Tut) but simply plays on the notoriety of Cleopatra.  Her jewelry and other objects associated with her may not be any more archaeologically or artistically notable than other Ptolemaic artifacts, but their biographies are.  The singularity of the character of Cleopatra and her place in history imbues the objects with heightened significance and makes them valued as cultural objects.  Thus, the exhibitions featuring them are guaranteed a sizable audience and continue to prove themselves profitable endeavors.  2.3 Ancient Rome and America In 1988, the Constitution Heritage Act created the National Constitution Center (NCC), with the Act citing as its aim “to provide for continuing interpretation of the Constitution” and “to establish a National center for the United States Constitution within the Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.”62  Nearly twelve years to the day passed before ground was broken on Independence Mall to begin construction; the ground-breaking ceremony coincided exactly with the 213th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. The project was completed in 2003, with the grand opening on July 4. The Center’s formal mission statement reads, “The Center is an independent, non- partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to increasing awareness about the Constitution and its relevance in Americans’ daily lives.”  To this end, its endeavors center primarily on American  61 The British Museum’s “Cleopatra of Egypt: From History to Myth” was a much more academic exhibition, likely a result of its creators, but its attendance numbers were much lower than those of the Cleopatra exhibit in Philadelphia. 62 Public Law 100–433—Sept. 16, 1988 102 Stat. 1640.  31 patriots and education about the values forwarded in the American Constitution.  Many of its exhibitions have focused on the Founding Fathers and pivotal moments in American history. The American Association of Museums (AAM) gave the National Constitution Center formal accreditation in winter 2011, citing the Center’s success in weaving its mission statement into the fabric of the institution and its excellent outreach to educators and to students.63  The NCC boasts of 160,00 square feet of public space which includes nearly 76,000 square feet of exhibit space.  Permanent exhibits and spaces include: “The Story of We the People” in DeVos Hall, Signers’ Hall, “The American Experience”, and the Kimmel Theater which hosts the multimedia production “Freedom Rising”.  The Freedom Exhibit Gallery, opened in 2005, is the space used for changing exhibits, both traveling and NCC site specific exhibits.  It is in the Freedom Exhibit Gallery that the NCC opened its 2010 exhibit “Rome & America”, to which we now turn.  “Ancient Rome & America: The Classical Influence that Shaped our Nation” was on display from February 19 to August 1, 2010.   It occupied 8,000 square feet in the Freedom Exhibit Gallery, with more than three hundred objects from over forty lending institutions.  The objects were gathered from lending institutions in both Italy and the United States, with the exhibit press materials stating that the exhibit “features a unique and unprecedented collection of rare artifacts and artwork...”64 Created by the National Constitution Center and Contemporanea Progetti in collaboration with the Ministero per I Beni Le Attività Culturali, the temporary exhibit was planned exclusively for the National Constitution Center and did not travel after its August 2010 close.65  “Ancient Rome & America” was divided into five galleries: the Introduction, ‘Building a Republic’, ‘A Classical Revival’, ‘Expansion and Empire’, and finally ‘Why Rome?’.   The galleries upfront are modeled on the rise of Roman civilization but within the exhibition are applied to the rise of the United States.  The following will be a brief look at each of the galleries, highlighting some of the notable aspects of the exhibition.  The focus is not primarily on the objects but the interplay between the Roman and American objects, how the visitor experiences the exhibit, and the high and low points of the entire experience.  It should be noted  63 The initial accreditation process can take up to four years so the NCC initiated the process in 2007, just four years after its opening. 64 Lead Press Release, National Constitution Center, February 19, 2010. 65 Contemporanea Progetti is a company based in Florence, Italy that specializes in museum and exhibition design.  32 here that the label ‘gallery’ is somewhat misleading as the exhibit is essentially one path with no distinct rooms or signs indicating that the visitor has progressed from one section to the next. The visitor would not necessarily be aware that the exhibit is conceptually divided into the galleries, with the exception of the Introduction and the final ‘Why Rome?’ section.  These bookends are somewhat more distinct simply because the visitor is aware of the start and the end of the experience.  Visitors entered into the dim lighting of the Introduction gallery and were met by a display of a gilded eagle representing the United States and the head of an eagle from a Roman military standard.66  The object labels contained (if known): the title of the work, artist, material, and date.  The eagles, as symbols of the state, indicate an easy connection between ancient Rome and America which does not need much explanation for the average North American viewer. The ancient use of the military standard requires some context but the general symbolic use of the eagle is clear.  It is also a plain example of how classical symbols and motifs inspired early American artists and statesmen. Throughout the exhibit, the Roman objects, when possible, are placed in glass cases with grey pedestals while the American objects are placed on crimson pedestals.  Both Roman objects and American objects could be placed in the same case, with the color of its pedestal being the visual clue that these objects are not from the same culture.  The text and labels make it clear that the visitor will be experiencing the ancient Roman portion of the exhibit through an American perspective.  That is, the Roman object is presented with some of its own context but it is the peripheral object that is being compared.  The American object is the focus, to which other things must be compared.  One might have expected the American objects to be likened to the Roman objects, as if descendants to the ancient items (and this does occur), but the exhibit is aimed more at understanding the United States as it was and is, using Rome as a comparative precursor.  The visitor is expected to ask himself what lessons Rome can teach him about America.  Though non-student visitors may not have had access to the Newspapers in Education curriculum guide, the document states clearly that the exhibit “views the lost world of ancient Rome through American eyes…recover[ing] the classical spirit that  66 The gilded eagle is the 1804 McIntire Eagle from the cupola of the Lynn Academy, currently in the Lynn Museum.  The eagle standard is from the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Florence.  33 inspired Rome’s impact on the nation and ask[ing], ‘What enduring lessons does Rome have for America today?’”67  From this introduction, the visitor proceeds into another room, ‘Building a Republic.” Here, foundational myths and stories are explored.  From the Roman side, we have excerpts from Virgil’s Aeneid and Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita which speak of Romulus and Remus and Cincinnatus.  On the American side, George Washington, Paul Revere’s midnight ride, and Betsy Ross’ flag-making are presented.  There is an awareness, though not overtly stated, that these American foundation stories have become myths and legends in the same way that the Roman foundation stories are perceived as myths and legends.  A particular one-to-one comparison made is between Cincinnatus and George Washington, both military and political heroes who have reached legendary status.  The text (and accompanying audio guide) point out that in his own time, Washington was likened to Cincinnatus in his virtue and humble resignation of power after crisis.  Given that the average visitor is familiar with Washington, and particularly the heroic aura and legend around him, the story of Cincinnatus is easy to imagine.  The bust of George Washington draped in a toga over his regular clothes drives home the point that the U.S. Founding Fathers (and those depicting them in art) were very aware of the Roman precedent and strove to emulate those they considered their forefathers.  The visitor may begin to have an understanding of how just as the United States citizen generally considers as role models the founders of the United States, these same founders looked to Rome for their role models and inspiration.  The American Revolution and the founding of the Republic are shown as mirror events, separated by time and place but not by ideals, as a people threw off the tyranny of a monarchy and established a republic.  The gallery continues into a more dimly lit section that discusses war, highlighting Scipio Africanus and the Boston Tea Party.  There is the consideration that both burgeoning states faced violent beginnings and were in some ways built on a foundation of war.  The gallery continues on to highlight aspects of government and politics that show the Roman Republic and the United States had in common in their early years.  The inclusion of Roman census documents was particularly fitting as the United States was conducting its own census in 2010, allowing visitors to appreciate the longevity of such a practice.  The exhibit is keen to point out that the Founding Fathers of the U.S. were typically classically educated, literate in Latin and Greek and familiar  67 Newspapers In Education Program. The Newspapers In Education curriculum, Ancient Rome & America, was created by the Newspapers In Education (NIE) department of The Philadelphia Inquirer, 2010, Philadelphia Media Holdings LLC.  34 with the history of Rome.  A broadside of the Declaration of Independence and other manuscripts and books help the visitor see how the Founders studied Rome as they sought independence from England.  The concept of the political body of the senate is explored, and portrait busts of politicians are compared.  Cicero and Henry Clay are presented side by side as examples of effective orators.  A replica of Gilbert Stuart’s 1796 Lansdowne George Washington portrait is hung in a corner, and viewers are encouraged to examine the portrait to identify Roman symbols.  Both a wall text and the audio guide identify certain elements.  It is here that a docent may have approached the visitor, one of the few times when a person was presented as a guide.  The docent offered identification and insight into the symbols of the painting, though echoed much of the audio tour.  This position, though not always present, seems to have been filled by young NCC volunteers.  The effectiveness of the periodic human interactions will be explored later.  After considering the noble ideals portrayed in the portrait, the visitor turns around to face a more grim reality.  A case contains slave collars from both Rome and the United States, leaving the visitor hard-pressed to see any difference in the use of slavery in either society.  The visitor is confronted with early America’s willingness to emulate all aspects, good and bad, of Roman civilization and indeed, to justify slavery through Rome. The realities of both Roman and African-American slaves are not explored in depth, though it is striking that the story behind the U.S. slave collar can be traced to the name of its wearer.68  However, the exhibit then presents John Quincy Adams Ward’s statue The Freedman as an indication of the United States’ progress away from a slave society. Here, the visitor is invited to think that the U.S. progressed beyond slavery while Rome could not.  This is an overly simplified view of both Roman and American slavery and leads me to think that the exhibition creators would rather visitors did not dwell on negative aspects of U.S. history.  This section continues on to an exploration of how both subjects dealt with the concept of executive power.  The exhibit features busts of Julius Caesar, Augustus, and Andrew Jackson. The crisis in Rome in the first century BCE is portrayed as a lesson for the United States, a warning against the investment of total power in one person as it can lead to monarchy or empire.  Andrew Jackson’s inclusion in this section is a nod to his role in the development of separate Democratic and Republican parties as well as his portrayal as the first “citizen-  68 The collar, lent by the Allison-Antrim Museum, was made for a slave named Ben after his third escape attempt.  35 president.”  It is noted that Jackson was not classically educated as his presidential predecessors were.  The exhibition explains briefly the institution of checks and balance in the United States government, a system created to prevent a crisis similar to that of Rome.  It is here that the visitor is asked to separate ancient Rome and America in his mind, to see most fully the point at which the cultures diverged.  The implication is that the United States, having been warned by Rome’s history, is able to avoid the same fate and strike out on a presumed greater path.  The problems that have arisen from the United States’ governmental system are not considered, likely because the exhibition is focused on the creation of the system as a juxtaposition to Rome, rather than the realities of its implementation.  With this, the visitor continues into the third gallery, ‘A Classical Revival.’ This portion of the exhibit is dedicated to how Rome influenced the art, architecture, and culture of the United States, from the 1700s to today.  It begins with artifacts from Pompeii and the revival of classical interest this inspired.  Visitors seem drawn to the cast of a man who was unable to escape Vesuvius’ explosion.  The exhibit then draws attention to the phenomenon of the Grand Tour that was popular in the18th century and especially the 19th century in the United States.  Though visitors may be familiar with a similar cultural exercise, the study-abroad experience during university, the Grand Tour is not generally a subject with which people have more than a passing familiarity.  An excerpt from Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad gives insight into how the experience was relayed back home.  An Etruscan sarcophagus is introduced to show some of the influences on Rome (Etruscan and Greek), yet the sarcophagus feels somehow out of place in this section.  In this general area, there is a second potential interaction with exhibition staff.  A white- coated individual with a cart periodically begins a ten minute fictional set-piece titled “The Discovery.”  In the role of an archaeologist, the individual delivers a monologue about a theater mask from Pompeii.  This “pop-up theater experience” can be startling given the very quiet and calm ambience of the rest of the exhibit.  While intriguing for younger audiences, many adults seemed to eschew the area.  The layout of the exhibit, an open space with very few full walls or complete distinctions between gallery spaces allows higher volume audio to travel fairly easily. Thus, “The Discovery” carries well beyond its own “theater space.”  This can be off-putting for visitors trying to focus on other areas of the exhibition.  The National Constitution Center puts a fair amount of emphasis on its theater programs which explains the inclusion of one in this exhibit.  Unfortunately, the experience seemed out of place and did not contribute to the overall exhibition experience.  36  Moving beyond the theater experience, parallels between American and Roman men and women are showcased, both parallels that were made explicitly by the American subject and those that were generally implied or sought.  The letters between Abigail and John Adams are of note; Abigail signed her name ‘Portia’ in emulation of the wife of the Roman Brutus.  There are rows of Roman busts, male and female, along with American busts that clearly show the aesthetic influence.  This gallery has the virtue of featuring women far more prominently than the other galleries.  The visitor sees that the visual emulation of the Romans extended beyond male authority as women too espoused the virtues of a good Roman matron.  An excerpt from Phyllis Wheatley’s translation of the Aeneid is included as well.   The classical styling of the home and architecture are highlighted by comparison between Roman pottery and glassware and Wedgewood and American silver.  Furniture and décor are shown to have similarities or be products of direct inspiration.  The exhibit moves back to the feminine realm with a look at fashion (‘empire dress’ and Grecian style robe) as well as an extensive case of jewelry, much of it Roman.  It is here that the grey/red differentiation in the cases is put to good use as much of the jewelry and home goods seem appropriate in either cultural context.  The exhibit continues on its light-hearted path to a look at architecture and entertainment. The simple comparison between the U.S. Capitol building and ancient Roman structures is highlighted by a model of the Capitolium of Brescia.  Entertainment parallels are made between Roman gladiatorial games and American football.  Gladiatorial armor is placed beside a football helmet from the Philadelphia Eagles.  Visitors are given the opportunity to reconstruct the Colosseum out of blocks and plans of Franklin Field in Philadelphia highlight spatial comparisons between the settings for ancient and modern entertainment.  The table with blocks is one of the few interactive stations in the exhibit and seemed to draw children more than anyone else.  A sizable collection of movie posters lined the walls (including Gladiator and Ben- Hur), indicating the popularity of ancient Roman stories in popular American media.  Moving into the penultimate gallery, the visitor is asked to consider the concept of empire and its expansion.  The focus of this section rests more heavily on Rome as it was clearly an empire, expanding over the entire ancient world.  The idea of American empire may not be as welcome to many visitors thus forcing the exhibit to tread lightly though many fine comparisons are made.  This section seems to indicate that America and its leaders looked back to Rome to help guide them in expansion and avoid the perils of empire-building.  Rows of imperial busts first greet the visitor, followed by a case of Roman and U.S. coins.  Elements of hero-worship in the U.S. are explored as the visitor views curtain panels which depict the apotheosis of George  37 Washington and Benjamin Franklin.  The military reality of expansion is examined through examples of Roman weapons and helmets and 19th century American firearms.  The treatment of Native Americans is cursorily mentioned but Andrew Jackson’s and Ulysses S. Grant’s Indian Peace Medals are more prominently displayed.  This indicates continued discomfort with the historical reality of the United States’ rapid expansion west.  Both time and space separate today’s visitors from the Roman empire more extensively than it does from 19th century United States, allowing visitors to consider Rome’s expansion at arm’s length.  The exhibit, while attempting to show some aspects of history, does not want to alienate its viewers and implicate them in brutal treatment of Native Americans.  The visitor is able to quickly move on from this, after viewing maps shaded according to territorial accumulations, to consideration of diversity in the Roman empire and in the United States.  Both extended citizenship to those with military service, illustrated by bronze tablets from Rome and naturalization papers from Pennsylvania.  Comparisons between the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment and Caracalla’s Constitutio Antoniniana are made.69  The gallery continues on to display elements of infrastructure that allowed both Rome and the U.S. to successfully expand.  They include aqueducts and transportation.  The Transcontinental Railroad is prominent.  More mundane elements of life, such as amphorae and weights and measures from Rome, are also displayed.  The last objects in this section are an uncomfortable fit.  Various statues and statuettes of Roman divinities (i.e Bacchus and Isis Fortuna) are displayed; there are no U.S. equivalents given.  One is left with the impression that there were included simply because the exhibition planners had access to them and felt that some mention of Roman religion should be made.  There is an obvious desire to avoid the controversial issue of religion and the political life of the United States which explains the lack of comparisons.  One cannot help but feel these inclusions are lackluster and do not add to the Rome/U.S. dynamic.  From here, the visitor enters the last gallery, “Enduring Legacy.”  Rome’s decline is stated though the details are left obscure.  Thomas Cole’s series of paintings The Course of Empire serves as an illustration of the life of empire that the visitor has also progressed through in the course of the exhibition.  As a conclusion to the exhibit, visitors are asked to consider what  69 The 14th Amendment was adopted in 1868.  Its first clause (“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.”) reversed the Dred Scott v. Sandford decision that prohibited citizenship for African-Americans.  The Edict of Caracalla (212 CE) gave all free men of the empire Roman citizenships and gave all free women the same rights of Roman women.  38 Rome’s rise and fall can teach us about the United States.  A video called “Are We Rome?” plays on a loop for visitors to watch.70  It asks if “we”, that is the United States, are an empire. This is a clear indication of the exhibition’s target audience of U.S. citizens, though being centrally located in Philadelphia’s main tourist area would undoubtedly bring in international visitors.  However, the video continues on to show images of the U.S. and Rome interspersed with each other and the viewer sees how easy it is to draw parallels, even the negative ones.  Dr. Campbell Grey, Assistant Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and Dr. Caroline Winterer, Associate Professor of History at Stanford University, both served as curatorial consultants and are featured in the video.  Their interviews help explain why Rome has been relevant to the birth and growth of the United States and why it remains relevant.  Dr. Grey indicates the tension that is inherent in the Rome/U.S. comparison as the U.S. aspires to be Rome in all the best ways but to avoid all the negative aspects.  The video asks visitors to consider if the United States might face the same decline and fall as the Roman empire did.  The exhibition ends with these questions for the visitor.  The video’s inclusion of Drs. Grey and Winterer is welcome as it lends faces to the people behind the creation of the exhibit.  It also gives a face to the audio tour’s voice (Dr. Winterer).  The visitor then leaves the gallery space and walks back into the main lobby space of the National Constitution Center.  The visitor is not immediately ushered into a gift shop (though the NCC gift shop is relatively nearby and featured a number of related items).  Given the highly commercial nature of many special exhibitions, this is refreshing and allows the final impression of the exhibit to remain with the visitor rather than being pushed out by the demands for souvenirs and mementos.  In comparison with the two Egyptian exhibitions discussed above, this is a marked difference and an indicator of the producers and sponsors of the exhibit.  While the Egyptian exhibits are products of a for-profit company (AEG), “Ancient Rome & America” was not, thus reducing the commercialization of the entire exhibit.  This factor moves the National Constitution Center exhibit away from the market-driven guise that so easily applies to the Tut and Cleopatra exhibits.  What guise then suits this exhibit?  I would argue that it can be seen as partaking in a variety of these museum styles.  There are elements of the market-driven in it (the theatrical experience, partnerships with hotels, and the inevitable gift-shop items), but they does not define the exhibit.  There are elements of the  70 This six minute video is on the National Constitution Center’s Youtube channel and can be viewed any time at  39 shrine-type museum as well.  The array of objects has been collected from a span of times and places and placed together to form archetypes for ancient Rome and early America.  Encased and/or on pedestals, the audience gazes at these objects, chosen by the authority of the museum, and is asked to wonder at these items in some way.  But the shrine identity for a museum implies placing the viewers at a distance from the objects while this exhibit asks viewers to consider how the makers and users of the objects have influenced the shape their own nation and culture have taken.  Once again we find that the exhibit does not fit entirely into a single guise.  While some elements of Marstine’s post-museum may be present in the NCC (engagement with the community and acknowledgment of changing identities), this exhibit is too traditional to call it truly post-museum.  And finally, there is the colonizing space.  The collection practices of the NCC do not require close scrutiny (its permanent collection is quite small), which is usually a sign of a colonizing space.  Yet there may be some elements that can pertain to this guise.  The exhibit is taking the objects of one culture and viewing them entirely through the lens of its own dominant culture.  To be sure, much of the early American nation and culture was based on Rome and thus this is an exploration of its own history.  Still, the perspective is particularly Euro-American and privileges this over the many perspectives (not the least of which is that of the indigenous peoples of North America) that have existed during the birth and growth of the United States.  The biographies of this exhibit’s objects do not generally have the panache of Cleopatra and Tut but are still significant.  The historical value of both the ancient and early American items is obvious, and it is in the comparison of them that these objects become significant in the other’s biography.  Previously, they had been separated by time and space and it took the exhibit to make them companions.  In previous eras, such as revolutionary America, these connections between cultures would have been obvious and the exhibit does much to explain that.  However, this knowledge has been progressively lost or replaced by more current concerns.  The chapters of the object biographies were displaced until this exhibit brought them back for a new audience. This audience is asked to consider the social lives of the ancient objects as they affected the Founding Fathers and early Americans.  In essence, the exhibit is highlighting those moments of the antiquities when they had renewed relevance to a newly developing nation.     40 2.4 The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology Of all the exhibitions and museums explored in this paper, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology fits the traditional perception of a museum best.  It covers a wide range of archaeological and anthropological topics within its sprawling building. Much of this can be attributed to its placement within an academic setting.  Founded in 1887, the museum has been involved in over four hundred expeditions and excavations across the globe. Both the objects and publications that have come from these have helped shape the collections and galleries of the museum.  While the museum has materials from all over the world, the focus here will be on its Egyptian and ancient Mediterranean galleries.  An exploration of these will provide a counterpoint to the temporary and traveling exhibitions that make up the other case studies.  In many ways, the Penn Museum provides the stereotype of museum for the average person, that is Marstine’s “shrine” guise.71  As a permanent collection, the display of the artifacts is fairly static. The objects are organized according to civilization/culture, in thematic sections.  Some objects have been gathered into long-term exhibitions that highlight certain themes or aspects of the ancient world.  The museum itself is a large building with many additions and wings added over its history.  This can make navigation through the museum fairly confusing at times, even with the aid of a paper map.  Nevertheless, visitors will likely find themselves in the Lower Egyptian Galleries first, as they are on the first floor.72  Introductory wall text introduces the visitor to the gallery, though the audio tour is likely of greater use as it provides more detailed information. Visitors may also avail themselves of a paper brochure that is a self-guided tour.  This brochure gives a basic timeline of pharaonic rule (indicating only those pharaohs who are represented by objects in the gallery).  It highlights twelve objects, each marked by a small symbol (a pharaoh wearing the nemes) on the base of the display case.  The self-guided tour encompasses the Lower Egyptian galleries on the first floor and the Upper Egyptian galleries on the third floor.  The Lower Egyptian gallery aligns with the original Italian concept of a gallery.  Objects are  71 The Penn Museum can certainly be analyzed in terms of a colonizing space, particularly when it comes to the native peoples of the Americas but this lies outside the scope of this paper. 72 Visitors are amply warned that the museum cannot air-condition all of its galleries in the summer. Signs state, “It’s hot in Egypt!”  While this can make for some uncomfortably warm times, a visitor can choose to make it part of the Egyptian experience.  Large fans are placed throughout the galleries to assist in airflow.  41 displayed around the perimeter of the room in glass cases with nondescript pedestals.  Object labels contain standard information: name, place, time, material, and the museum’s accession number.  Again, though there is some explanatory text about the objects, the audio tour provides more extensive information.  The Penn Museum is fortunate in that its collection has come from almost a century of excavation work sponsored by the university.  The collection has over 42,000 Egyptian and Nubian objects that have come from these excavations.73  Because of its arrangements, the museum boasts some colossal pieces in the gallery.  Excavations of a ceremonial royal palace in Memphis have provided a large sphinx and pieces of massive columns that are displayed in the museum.74  The placement of the columns and sphinx allow visitors to walk in and around them, creating a sense of scale for the palace.  A model nearby shows the visitor a re-creation of the palace based on the excavation.  Happily, there is some text information about the excavations themselves, which took place from 1915-1932 and 1955-1956.  This is useful in exploring the social life of the objects and tracking the journey from Egypt to museum.  As an archaeological museum, there is some desire to show the archaeological process as well as the finds that result from it.  Parallel to the Lower Egyptian Galleries is a long-term exhibition, “Amarna: Ancient Egypt’s Place in the Sun.”  The exhibit opened in 2006, with an expected run of one year that has been extended indefinitely.  This is designed more in keeping with the style of special exhibitions, especially those of King Tut and Cleopatra.75  The entrance to the gallery is clearly marked out by its bright blue and green color scheme.  An introductory video plays, showing objects and ruins and introducing Akhenaten and Tut.  The visitor moves into the gallery, which is decorated in pastel greens and tans.  This thematic display moves chronologically from before Akhenaten’s reign to the end of Tutankhamun’s reign.  The general state of Egypt is explored to show the dramatic changes wrought by Akhenaten.  The objects, mainly statuettes, jewelry, personal items, and reliefs, help explain life in Amarna and the lives of the royal family.  73 The museum has had a long term agreement with the Egyptian Antiquities Service that used to permit them to divide finds, thus allowing the museum to grow its collection while also providing objects for Egyptian museums and institutions. 74 The museum’s sphinx is made of red granite and weighs 13 tons; it is the largest sphinx exhibited in the United States. Originally carved in the Middle Kingdom, it was later re-carved several times 75 Amarna is designed by the McMillan Group, designers of the Los Angeles installation of Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs.  42  This special exhibit was intended as complementary to the Tutankhamun exhibit at the Franklin Institute.  Many of the same people and institutions were involved, including the designers (McMillan Group), curators (Dr. David Silverman), and sponsors (The National Geographic Society).  The exhibit provides a more tightly-woven storyline than the permanent collection can provide, a feature that many visitors seem to appreciate, especially as they become more accustomed to the blockbuster exhibition style.  There is a sense of a full narrative arc that visitors progress along in a very specific path.  By the end of the exhibition, when the visitor reenters the main Lower Egyptian gallery, the range of the Amarna period has been explored and there is a sense of completion.  The Penn Museum is able to mount such long-term exhibitions because of the extent of its collection and its access to designers and curators who have worked on blockbuster exhibitions.  This co-operational work, as well as the cross-promotional efforts that happened during the runs of the Tut and Cleopatra exhibits, is useful in bringing publicity and visitors to the Penn Museum.  Though widely acknowledged as an excellent archaeology and anthropology museum, it does not have the far-reaching draw that blockbuster exhibits can guarantee.  As a permanent collection, it must reach out to other institutions and partner in their endeavors.  Moving away from the first floor, a visitor can take a staircase directly to the third floor for the Upper Egyptian galleries.  Similar in style to the Lower Egyptian galleries, this space features a great deal more sculpture, including a seated statue of Ramses II and a massive limestone head of Ramses II.  Items range in date from the reign of Hatshepsut to Cleopatra. Again, the self-guided tour and audio-tour help put most of the objects in context.  Like downstairs, a long-term special exhibit is featured in an adjoining gallery.  “The Egyptian Mummy: Secrets and Science” provides a close look at the museum’s funerary and mummy collection, as well as explaining some of the scientific techniques used to study the remains.  The entrance is framed in a trabeated style.   A great deal of text explains Egyptian concepts of the afterlife and how this affected burial processes.  The visitor progresses through the chronological development of burial practices, with mummies from various periods illustrating the texts.  The actual mummification process is detailed and various coffins and funerary accessories are displayed.  The text panels also feature pictures and photographs to further illustrate those concepts or objects that cannot be displayed.   The science aspect of the exhibit comes toward the end.  Two mummies from the museum collection are displayed that have been examined using modern medical and scientific techniques such as x-ray and CAT scans.  The diagnoses of various medical ailments as well as discussion of general health of the ancient Egyptians shows  43 the use that modern technology can have in the study of the ancient world.  The exhibit ends with a look at some papyri and a section of the Book of the Dead that explains the path taken in the afterlife and assures safe passage for the deceased.  Like the Amarna exhibit, the mummies exhibit complements the Franklin Institute’s Tut and Cleopatra exhibits, though primarily Tut.  Visitors to both institutions would learn similar concepts about Egyptian beliefs and funerary practices and see how scholars are using modern scientific technology to answer questions about the past.  The focused scope of the exhibit is useful for visitors and provides a great deal of information.  This exhibit is far more text-based than the Amarna exhibit or the permanent galleries, a useful approach for the subject matter but somewhat overwhelming for the casual visitor.  The low ceilings and narrow space, coupled with a distinct musty smell (probably aggravated by heat), might encourage visitors to move more quickly through the exhibit and to skim over much of the text.  Nevertheless, this type of display makes good use of the museum collection and can be a useful set-piece for educational programs.  The Egyptian galleries of the museum are much larger than those dedicated to the Mediterranean world.  These galleries are also located on the third floor and can be accessed a variety of ways, meaning that a visitor’s experience could potentially be confusing.  Ideally, the visitor would enter the Classical World gallery first, where the long-term exhibition “Worlds Intertwined: Greeks, Romans, and Etruscans” begins.  The four galleries that make up the Mediterranean section feature just a fraction of the museum’s over 30,000 objects.  The exhibit begins with a long video that explains why studying these ancient civilizations is still relevant and emphasizes the classical legacy that can be seen in the city of Philadelphia.  A large map of the Mediterranean lights up progressively to show the geographical extent and regions of the three civilizations.  A timeline also shows the chronological extent as well as the enduring legacy.  Again, there is emphasis on early America and Philadelphia.  From this introduction, the visitor progresses into the Etruscan gallery.  A long, narrow gallery houses glass cases that display pottery, funerary objects, jewelry and statuettes among many other items.  Traditional Etruscan beliefs, architecture, and language are all explored and provide instruction in the “intertwined” relationships of the ancient Mediterranean.  An audio segment allows visitors to hear the recreated Etruscan language and study some inscriptions that have allowed researchers more insight into the Etruscan world.  Halfway down the gallery, the visitor can walk up a few steps into the Greek gallery. The trade relationship between the Etruscans and the Greeks is explored and the emphasis on  44 Greek pottery found in Etruscan tombs helps visitors see the co-existence of the two cultures. The Greek gallery is organized into thematic sections that explore religion, daily life, death and burial, and more via pottery, sculpture, and coins.  The entire gallery is much smaller than either the Etruscan or Roman galleries but it does span from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic period. At various points, blocks of text help distinguish the sections and further explain the themes based on the displayed objects.  There is extensive use of pottery and vase painting to help illuminate the various aspects of life.  Once a visitor has browsed this gallery, he must re-enter the Etruscan gallery and proceed down to a large square room that houses the Roman gallery.  The Roman gallery represents the end of the “Worlds Intertwined” exhibit as both Etruscan and Greek influence is found in Roman culture.  The room is painted white with ‘Pompeiian red’ crown molding and accent walls.  The center of the room is occupied by a military relief from Puteoli that features an act of damnatio memoria of Domitian on one side and three of Trajan’s Praetorian Guard on the other.  Other cases are thematically organized, including domestic life, women in Roman society, religion, and children.  A model of a Roman house helps visitors imagine domestic life, and cases show the objects used in daily life, ranging from dining vessels to mosaics.  Other objects include items from the museum’s renowned glass collection, portraiture, lamps, coins, and statuary.  The gallery is large but so full of objects and text that a visitor needs a fair amount of time to absorb it all.  This is true of all the Mediterranean galleries.  Though they are organized into the “Worlds Intertwined” exhibit, this is a loose association.  The visitor, who may have entered into the Roman gallery first, need not follow that exhibit plan closely.  Each of the galleries can stand on its own as representative of its individual culture.  Nevertheless, the “Worlds Intertwined” idea is useful in showing the overlap and co-existence of these civilizations as various periods.  It can be easy for people to think of them in isolation when in reality they were interacting and influencing each other all the time.  The Penn Museum overall demonstrates standard display practices in gallery settings. These galleries were part of a ten-year, multi-million dollar renovation and project that was completed in 2003.  The aim of the project was to present the classical collections in a thematic context and encourage visitors to consider how these cultures continue to influence our world today.  This concept is familiar from the “Ancient Rome & America” exhibit at the National Constitution Center.  Here too, the Penn Museum cooperated with the NCC, both as a lending institution and promotional marketing partner.   As Philadelphia’s premier collection of ancient  45 artifacts, one must expect that the Penn Museum will be closely involved with any exhibition that deals with antiquities. As explained earlier, the Penn Museum is our closest example of Marstine’s shrine.76 This is not an identification that most Penn Museum curators and directors would support though, as they strive to make the museum dynamic and accessible to everyone.  Still, it cannot help in some ways being the stereotypical museum.  Many objects in the Egyptian galleries are placed on pedestals around the exterior of the room, asking visitors to approach and wonder at them.  The extensive number of objects on display in the Mediterranean galleries are examples of the many objects the museum has deemed worthy of display and are actively preserved to serve as exemplars of the past.  The Penn Museum has moved away from the shrine with its special exhibits.  These are created and displayed to educate and to be accessible, often taking up aspects of the market-driven exhibits that have proven so popular.  Nevertheless, the museum retains a very academic feel and is often perceived as a very traditional-style museum.  After all, it is a university museum.  76 The discussion here pertains to the Egyptian and Mediterranean galleries.  The guise of colonizing space is clearly seen in other areas of the museum, namely the African and the American collections.  46 Chapter  3: Technology and Finances 3.1 Mobile Technology Developers of visitor technology for museums are drawn to the potential of the technology to “mediate an experience individually controllable by each visitor, which [is] content rich, personal to them, available at any time, and suits learning styles not served by catalog, text panel, or label.”77  Though the first handheld visitor technology was used in 1952 in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the technology did not become a mainstay of museums until well into the 1980s.  Today, however, nearly every major museum incorporates handheld technology into their permanent collections and special exhibitions, along with various other digital media tools. The extraordinary growth of personal technology in the past two decades has opened up opportunities for museums to consider their own use of technology in the visitor experience.  No longer is the Walkman-style audio tour the only option.  Rather, museums are making use of any number of hardware platforms and changing how the content of their digital technology is disseminated.  The relationship between museums and technology is ever-evolving, particularly as successive generations are born into a world where personal technological devices are a normative presence in daily life.  No longer is the linear audio tour sufficient to engage these audiences.  It is imperative that museums continually address their interpretative technologies and consider the best use of technology to provide a rich visitor experience. The most common technology-based tours are audio tours.  Today, many museum visitors will be familiar with the baton-like audio guide, with a numerical keypad that allows visitors to type in the number assigned to certain objects and listen to this particular section of the audio.  These models have random access control, that is, visitors are able to choose which portion of audio they would like to hear, rather than being guided from one stop to another by a continuous audio narrative.  Despite random-access control, many visitors still perceive the audio guide as a liner-progression route, that is a set route where one is required to stop at every point. The information of each point builds on the previous one so that visitor must stop and listen to  77 Loïc Tallon, “Introduction: Mobile, Digital, Personal,” in Digital Technologies and the Museum Experience: Handheld Guides and Other Media, Loïc Tallon and Kevin Walker (eds.) (Lanham, MD: Alta Mira Press, 2008), xiii.  47 each one in order to understand the exhibit.78  The numbers assigned to various objects and/or places within the exhibit seem to indicate a set route, though in reality the visitor is not obliged to access the information in that order or to access all the information at all.  Visitors, both those who use the audio-guides and those who do not, seem to share this negative perception of the technology.  While they desire a certain amount of structure and guidance within the exhibit, they do not wish to feel as if they are forced into a particular experience.  The average museum visitor seeks a personalized experience, one that feeds into their own interests and perceptions. For, contrary to assumptions, museum visitors do not necessarily expect or desire a museum exhibit to teach or to challenge their already-held beliefs and thoughts about the subject matter. The visitor is actually seeking reinforcement of his/her prior knowledge, using the perceived authoritative voice of the museum as a means of endorsement.79  Most mobile technology found in museums today allows users to do just that, choose those displays or objects that are already of interest to them and explore them in depth, while also permitting users to bypass those that do not pique interest. The major case studies of this paper show the variety of visitor technology that can be employed in museums.  The use of technology within each of the museums is dependent on a number of factors: age of the museum and its facilities, permanent collections versus special exhibitions, financial considerations, and potential audience.  No two museums employ the same technology though in all cases there is some effort at innovation and remaining up-to-date with, if not ahead of, technology already familiar to their visitors. The average American did not spend much time in museums before the blockbuster King Tut exhibit in the 1970s.  To make this exhibit more accessible for these visitors, an audio tour was introduced.  Over 3 million Americans (one percent of the U.S. population at the time) experienced the “Treasures of Tutankhamun” exhibit through a Sony-Walkman style tour.80 Visitors were given personal, handheld audio devices that held recorded messages for particular points on the tour.  Anticipating audiences that were “unaccustomed to traditional didactic tools  78 Ben Gammon and Alexandra Burch, “Designing Mobile Digital Experiences, “ in Digital Technologies and the Museum Experience: Handheld Guides and Other Media, Loïc Tallon and Kevin Walker (eds.) (Lanham, MD: Alta Mira Press, 2008), 44. 79 John H. Falk and Lynn D. Dierking, “Enhancing Visitor Interaction,” in Digital Technologies and the Museum Experience: Handheld Guides and Other Media, Loïc Tallon and Kevin Walker (eds.) (Lanham, MD: Alta Mira Press, 2008), 26.  See also John H. Falk and Lynn D. Dierking, Learning from Museums (Walnut Creek, CA: Alta Mira Press, 2000).  80 Tallon, Digital Media Technologies, xiv.  48 of exhibition”, the technology solution offered an innovative alternative to how audiences might engage with the exhibit.81  From this point on, the audio tour became a standard feature of many special exhibits as well as permanent collections. The latest incarnation of the King Tut exhibit also had an audio tour, in keeping with the development of audio tours, it was more expansive.82  At the Franklin Institute, audio tours were an additional fee of $7 for adults and $6 for children.83  The recordings for both adult and child tour were the same and last approximately thirty-five minutes.  The exhibit employed the now- classic handheld baton-like device, with a numerical pad that allows visitors random-access control of their experience.  The Franklin Institute itself does not have tours or audio guides for the museum’s general and permanent exhibits.  The special exhibits that are brought in have equipment and audio tours that accompany them from location to location.  Therefore, the Franklin Institute is hardly involved in the mobile technology and multimedia tours that are in use in the special exhibits.  The audio tours are a package deal with the exhibit, under control of the exhibit creators and unable to be changed by the various museum locations.  This is a potential problem that will be explored shortly. “King Tut and the Golden Age of Pharaohs” featured Omar Sharif as the narrator of the English audio tour and Jorge Ramos as narrator of the Spanish version.  Mr. Sharif is an Academy award nominated Egyptian actor, best known for his roles in Lawrence of Arabia and Dr. Zhivago.  Mr. Ramos is a Mexican born, naturalized American news anchor for Noticiero Univision.  Both men provide sonorous voices for narration of the exhibit, lending a kind of aural authority to the narration though they are not scholars in Egyptology.  Mr. Sharif’s participation might very well be traced to his Egyptian heritage while Mr. Ramos’s might be attributed to his celebrity in the Spanish-speaking world.  Their narration is supplemented by interviews with Zahi Hawass, Terry Garcia (National Geographic’s executive vice president for mission programs), and the exhibition’s curator, David Silverman.  This audio tour allowed some visitor flexibility because of its random-access control. In special exhibits, however, visitors are less likely to feel as if they need more control as they are already in a constructed space that is meant to be explored in a limited number of ways.  The  81 Ibid., xvii 82 Though we will not explore the additional, smaller King Tut exhibits, it is worth noting that they too have provided audio tours similar to “King Tut and the Golden Age of Pharaohs.”  In “Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs”, the audio tour is narrated by Harrison Ford and features Zahi Hawass. 83 Audio tour prices varied upon museum location but generally ranged from five to eight dollars.  49 King Tut tour did not stray from the common mold of audio tours in hardware or content. Certainly, the nature of a blockbuster exhibit calls for a riveting audio tour which explains the use of celebrity voices.  An added benefit of the audio tour in the case of King Tut was that it allowed visitors to stand back from the object and listen to the information that was on the object label and accompanying explanatory text without having to read it as well.  While generally being close to the object and having access to both text and audio would be ideal, this simply could not happen for many people when visiting the King Tut exhibit.  True to its blockbuster name, the exhibit could be crowded with people, so crowded that one might have to wait ten minutes just to be able to move close enough to read an object label. At times, one might be shoulder to shoulder with other visitors, being swept along with the crowd and unable to spend more than a few seconds at each object or display.84  Naturally, this kind of experience depends entirely on where and when a visitor attended the exhibit.  I personally (as explained earlier) experienced the exhibit in two very different ways; at the Franklin Institute on a weekday morning, the exhibit was quiet, calm, and nearly empty.  A later visit to the exhibit at the Discovery Times Square location in New York City proved that the blockbuster title was true to form.  This is where the huge crowds lined up and one was swept along in the exhibit itself, hardly given time to view the objects, let alone read labels.  Use of an audio tour in this situation can be welcome (though one has to plant one’s feet and stand firm against the flow of the crowd should one wish to listen to the entire audio selection of one object in front of that object).  The use of the traditional audio guide in an exhibit like this should not be criticized as it is, at this time, one of the only feasible options for mobile technology for the exhibit.  The exhibit is on tour, packaged and brought to locations with a variety of technological capabilities. Thus, a basic level of hardware is suitable.  Though certain visitors might perceive the audio guide as a “cellphone crossed with a nightstick”85, outdated and unwieldy, it is, at least familiar. One might assume that had more recent mobile technology been desired, the financial cost would not have been too big a burden for the organizers to bear.  Rather, the focus was on logistics, both of touring the exhibit and controlling the flow of visitors.  The mobile technology for this  84 This was a clear example of a timed or limited admissions policy failing.  Despite having a timed entry, visitors are free to remain in the exhibit for as long as they wish.  Inevitably, a backlog of visitors occurs. I also suspect that in order to accommodate as many ticket sales as possible, more visitors were assigned to each entry time than was considered ideal for viewing the exhibit. 85 Randy Kennedy. “With Irreverence and an iPod,” The New York Times, May 28, 2005.  50 exhibit is also accessible to a wide range of visitors, with many varying capabilities of interfacing with the technology.  Simple numerical keypads, with numbers corresponding to objects, allows for quick familiarization with the handset, a vital step in keeping crowds moving through the exhibit.  While multimedia tours are becoming more of a trend, an exhibit of this nature plans on keeping a steady flow of visitors moving through the space.  Multimedia tours often encourage long visits and require some initial familiarization time.  The traditional handset is easily distributed and collected and does not cause undue lingering in the exhibit space. Though it seems unusual to say that visitors are not encouraged to linger in a museum exhibit, it is difficult to avoid the sense that the King Tut exhibit is an experience that is curtailed in length. The creators and partners behind its creation seem aware that they are providing an experience, akin to cinema and theater, that is limited in length for each visitor so that the next may experience it as well.  Because the same entities were involved in its creation, “Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt” had an audio tour very similar to the King Tut exhibit that preceded it at the Franklin Institute.  Unlike other special exhibitions though, the price of the audio tour was included in ticket price.  The hardware used is again the classic baton handset with a numerical keypad and random-access control.  This audio tour, unlike others, features “the voice of Cleopatra” herself.86  Interspersed with this first person narration are interviews with Zahi Hawass and Franck Goddio, whose excavations are prominently featured in the exhibit.  Like “King Tut and the Golden Age of Pharaohs”, the exhibit was planned for touring and the same rationale for the basic technology applies.  The exhibit surely was not expected, and has not been, received with the same level of fervor as its “big brother” exhibit, but the same formula for mobile technology applies.  It must be transportable and adaptable to a number of various sites and have a simple interface with the user.  Though the content of the audio and multimedia tours is not necessarily the focus of this discussion, it is worth discussing the use of Cleopatra’s first person narration and voice. Certainly the narration lends some cinematic interest to the tour.  One might suspect that children would find it especially compelling, giving them a sense of connecting with this historic woman.  86 John Norman, president of AEI, simply stated, “We had a voice talent with a Greek accent portraying Cleopatra on the audio. Cleopatra was actually of Greek heritage and we wanted to be authentic.”  No other identification of who the voice talent is was able to be found so I assume that it was not a celebrity voice. Jackie Loohauis-Bennett, “Big Cleopatra exhibit to rule at Milwaukee Public Museum,” The Journal Sentinel. July 12, 2011.  51 But to an adult audience, particularly an informed adult audience, the tour runs the great risk of seeming affected and artificial.  The narration is dramatic but does not inspire great levels of confidence in the authority of the scholarship.  One suspects that the creators of the audio tour were more interested in the experience of the exhibit rather than providing detailed information about the objects themselves.  The audio tour does provide specific information about particular objects, but it is quite possible that the visitor would be distracted by the dramatic flair of the experience.  Two versions of the audio tour would have been welcome; the current version is more suitable for children, keeping them engaged with the storytelling Cleopatra, while a more object and history centered version would be appropriate for the adult audience.  The latter version could certainly include elements of storytelling and first person narration to induce the same level of drama but need not be as overt as the other version.  Although Giusti addresses accessibility to art particularly, her point about young people remains true for most museum experiences.  They do not want an institution voice but to engage with a story and with characters, “something that makes it memorable by virtue of its humanity, not its historicity.”87 This is precisely the reasoning behind the Cleopatra audio tour; the focus is on the character and the story, not necessarily the history and the objects.  The listener will leave the exhibit with memory of Cleopatra’s voice rather than specific information.  The Cleopatra exhibit expands the desire for storytelling to its entire audience, beyond just young people.  Although it may be well-received by many adults there remains the risk of appearing too juvenile for the expectations of other adults.  When examining these two examples, one can easily see how the mobile technology must be suitable for extensive travel and be accessible to a huge range of visitors.  The handheld wand audio tour has proven its worth in both these areas.  The hardware itself is not particularly exciting or cutting edge but serves its purpose.  The creators of the audio tour then focus on the content itself, making it as dramatic and riveting as possible for the audience.  Thus, the use of celebrity voices or the voice of the main character of the exhibit becomes important.  Information about the objects on display is not neglected, and indeed, the audio tour may be the visitor’s only access to information that would be found on the object label and accompanying text, but it is not vital to the experience of the audio tour.  With the focus on only two traveling exhibitions, one should not assume that all traveling shows employ the same mobile technology, but it does seem  87 Ellen Giusti, “Improving Visitor Access,” in Digital Technologies and the Museum Experience: Handheld Guides and Other Media, Loïc Tallon and Kevin Walker (eds.) (Lanham, MD: Alta Mira Press, 2008), 99.  52 that innovation in technology and multimedia tours is more likely to come from permanent collections or shows created for particular spaces.  The limitations (logistical more than financial) on the traveling exhibitions prevent them from experimenting with the hardware, which in turn limits the content.  The National Constitution Center employed only one type of mobile digital technology for their “Ancient Rome & America” exhibit but it shows certain innovations that the previous two exhibits could not.  Visitors to the NCC exhibit were given the option of exploring the space without mobile technology or with a true multimedia tour: an iPod Touch, preloaded with audio descriptions of the objects and their significance. “A multimedia tour is a guide of a museum’s permanent collection, temporary exhibitions, or architecture and history, combining a variety of media including audio, text, images, videos, and occasionally also interactive programs…multimedia tours are available to visitors via screen-based handheld devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs), iPods, and mobile phones.”88  The iPod Touch also featured photographs of the objects which would appear on the screen when the user chose to hear that portion of the audio.  It was supplemented by written text as well.  This mobile technology allowed for random-access control by the visitors and a highly individualized experience.  The use of iPod Touches allowed for the exhibit to expand beyond the classic audio tour.  The technology allowed for a multimedia approach, albeit still limited in the scope of its multimedia inclusivity.  The mobile digital technology was object-focused, that is, the visitor was encouraged to observe an object on display and then explore beyond the text label by choosing the same object on the iPod Touch.  The audio would then describe the object in detail, followed by a more extensive discussion about its relevance to its own time period and civilization (ancient Rome or America) and how it relates to the exhibit’s other civilization.  These discussions provided a more general information about history or myths that related to the objects, allowing the visitor to put them in context and engage with the object in a more didactic way.  We must also consider the voice that visitors hear when they engage with the audio portions of the tour.  The curators of “Ancient Rome & America” chose to maintain a fairly authoritative and scholarly voice in the audio, though it was by no means a dry, droning voice. Caroline Winterer, a professor of American History at Stanford University, was a curatorial  88 Silvia Filippini-Fantoni and Jonathan P. Bowen, “Mobile Multimedia: Reflections from Ten Years of Practice,” in Digital Technologies and the Museum Experience: Handheld Guides and Other Media, Loïc Tallon and Kevin Walker (eds.) (Lanham, MD: Alta Mira Press, 2008), 79.  53 consultant for the exhibit and provided the voice for the audio tour.89  The female voice, both authoritative and energetic, is indicative of the museum’s awareness that visitors need to be aurally stimulated in order for the mobile technology to be effective.  There is a conscious effort to eschew the stereotype of “old, white men” as the scholarly authorities on history and museum objects.  To this end, Dr. Winterer’s voice provides visitors with an opportunity to hear from the scholars who are currently engaged in the field and who have actively taken part in the curation of the exhibit.  By employing Dr. Winterer as the audio tour voice, the exhibit is also allowing the visitors to connect more with the curatorial voice, to hear objects explained by the people who chose them specifically for this exhibit.  Removing some of the distance between curators and visitors is one way that museums are recognizing that their visitors are not mere “passive containers” but learn best through active engagement.90 “Ancient Rome & America’s” devices included audio, text, and images, though did not go so far as to include videos on the iPods.  One of its greatest strengths was the use of images of the displayed objects to assist visitors in orienting themselves while they listened to the audio. Rather than a simple number that is entered into the handheld device (as was common in early versions of audio tours), the visitor can look at the display and then look to the iPod and choose the corresponding image, ensuring that they are correctly oriented.  Some museums and galleries are making further efforts to support a visitor’s physical orientation and guidance by employing location-based services that track the visitor’s location within the space and delivers content based on that information.91  While useful in a large and complex museum, this technology is not necessary at the National Constitution Center and certainly not within the Freedom Exhibit Gallery where “Ancient Rome & America” was displayed.  This space is intimate enough that location-based service is unnecessary and visitors can orient themselves to particular objects via the visual clues on the iPod Touch.  However, the active engagement with technology allowed the visitor to explore those objects that were of particular individual interest.  89 Dr. Winterer’s curriculum vitae reveals extensive research and publications in the area of ties between American history and Classical heritage.  Her monographs include The Mirror of Antiquity: American Women and the Classical Tradition, 1750-1900 and The Culture of Classicism: Ancient Greece and Rome in American Intellectual Life, 1780-1910.  Given her expertise, it is no wonder that the NCC engaged her in the curation of this exhibit. 90 Kevin Walker, “Structuring Visitor Participation,” in Digital Technologies and the Museum Experience: Handheld Guides and Other Media, Loïc Tallon and Kevin Walker (eds.) (Lanham, MD: Alta Mira Press, 2008), 121. 91 Filippini-Fantoni and Bowen, “Mobile Multimedia: Reflections from Ten Years of Practice,” 85.  54 The layout of the exhibit, with a clear curvilinear path, provided a simple structure that naturally led visitors along.  This structure and guidance is important for visitors as it relieves them of any confusion in finding their own path and they can feel secure in focusing on the objects rather than knowing where to go next.  The iPod Touch, however, gives them the freedom that they also desire as they can employ random-access control of the multimedia tours. There is an exhibit path but no audio or visual technology is forcing the visitor along at a certain pace.  Certainly, there is some kind of perceived obligation to access all stops of the tour, simply by the nature of numerical ordering.  For many, the felt authority of the museum creates a sense that they must stop at each designated area because the museum has chosen to highlight this display or object.  While the museum and curators may desire that visitors pay particular attention to those displays and objects, they do not necessarily insist that a visitor stop every time.  They allow that the technology users may have certain preferences and can tailor their visit around the content that they find most interesting.  User-interface is an area of major concern for museums that employ mobile technology, especially technology that may be more advanced than what most visitors interact with on a daily basis.  The iPod Touch technology has been available to commercial consumers since 2007, making it relatively old in the world of technology though certainly not ubiquitous for consumers.  New versions are consistently released, and Apple Computer Inc. has had great success in sales of the iPod Touch.  By September 2010, Apple had sold over 45 million units.92 Combined with iPhone sales, which topped 100 million by March 2011, this technology is in the hands of a significant portion of the population.93  The iPod Touch and the iPhone use the same touch-screen multimedia technology and thus are virtually identical in user-interface.  Therefore, we can assume that any iPhone users are also fully capable of interacting in a sophisticated manner with the iPod Touch provided for the exhibit tour.  Nevertheless, there are users that will have little to no familiarity with the technology, especially older people and those unable to afford this technology.  While young people, who generally have good familiarity with mobile technology (and carry and use their own devices frequently), are able to interface with the iPod Touch easily, the older population may have more difficulty.  In a personal visit to the exhibit in June 2010, I  92 Horace Dediu, “iPod touch made up 37.7 percent of all iOS devices sold so far,” September 3, 2010. 93 Devindra Hardawar, “Apple by the numbers: 100M iPhones sold, 100M iBooks downloaded, $2B to devs,” Mobile Beat. March 2, 2011.  55 observed an elderly gentleman who demonstrated such difficulty.  His younger companions, as well as other visitors, adopted use of the device readily.  Indeed, multimedia tours are particularly suited to young people, “who are regularly exposed to a high level of audiovisual information…and interactivity.”94  The touch-screen and audiovisual combination may not be as intuitive for older users.  The lack of immediately identifiable ‘play’ or ‘pause’ buttons, among others, that have become recognizable features of most audiovisual technology is a key user- interface hurdle for some older users.  The gentleman I observed lamented just such a problem. It is unlikely that there will come a time when all users of the multimedia tours will already be familiar with the technology.  Technology has the potential to change so rapidly that some users will always be grappling with interface issues.  For many museums, this issue, coupled with the heavy financial burden of constantly updating hardware, has led them to consider other ways to provide audio or multimedia tours. The Penn Museum is one such institution.  While the size of its collection prevents it from having a specific tour for each gallery, it has put together a one hour “Highlights of the Collection Tour.”  Visitors can rent an Orpheo Classic audio guide handset for $5 USD or they can download the podcast from iTunes for free, allowing them to use their own mobile devices. It is available in English and Spanish.  The museum debuted this audio tour in September 2009. The tour features commentary from nine museum curators and discusses objects from the entire collection.  Each audio-clip is generally between one and two minutes long.  The Orpheo Classics handset is the hardware that many visitors commonly associate with museum audio guides.  While it is a reminder that the traditional audio guide remains very much a mainstay of museums, the opportunity for visitors to download a podcast for their own device is an innovation that offers a great deal of promise for mobile technology in museums.  Ellen Giusti addresses the issue of accessibility in museums, not just physical accessibility for intellectual.95  Handheld and mobile technology has become a premier way for museums to offer full access to a range of visitors.  She indicates that the use of a visitor’s own handheld technology (MP3 player, mobile phone, etc.) with the downloaded audio tour can erase the issue of needing to familiarize oneself with unknown technology (if the visitor can already use his/her own device confidently).96  As the classic audio handsets age and break down, museums will likely replace them with newer technology (i.e. iPod Touches as seen at the Penn Museum) or  94 Filippini-Fantoni and Bowen, “Mobile Multimedia: Reflections from Ten Years of Practice,” 82. 95 Giusti, “Improving Visitor Access,” 98. 96 Ibid., 99  56 choose not to replace them at all.  Visitors then would be responsible for the use of their own handheld devices.  This, however, can alienate potential visitors who do not own or use such devices and place responsibility for the tour entirely on the visitors, rather than having the museum provide the whole experience  An added benefit of downloading the tour prior to a visit is the ability to see the visuals associated with the podcast, provided one’s own device has visual capabilities.  If viewed before the on-site visit, this can help the visitor prepare him or herself for what they could potentially see.  Each of the audio selections of the tour is accompanied by images of the objects under discussion.  Once at the museum, the visitor can then recognize the object they have previewed and/or orient themselves to particular objects based on the images they are seeing on-site.  Those visitors with multimedia devices are able to experience another level of the tour while those visitors who used the Orpheo handset were restricted to audio only.  But one must consider the onus that is then put on the visitor.  Downloadable tours can require the visitor to make contact with the museum’s website and/or iTunes before their visit to the physical museum.  This may not be behavior that should be expected of all visitors, and even those visitors that do access a museum’s website may not be looking for downloadable content so much as visiting hours, directions, and parking maps.  Museum “pre-visits” are not the norm for many and thus the opportunity for accessing the downloadable tour is limited.  However, the Penn Museum does offer a limited number of Wi-Fi hotspots in its public spaces, allowing visitors to download the tours to their smart phones/Wi-Fi capable devices within the physical space of the museum.  This then allows a greater number of people to use their own technology to access the museum’s multimedia content without necessitating a web- based pre-visit.  Though the Wi-Fi hotspots are free, the speed and network reliability may not be up to consumer expectations.  Nevertheless, they are vital to exposing visitors to the museum’s new method of providing multimedia tours.  One might hope that future museum visits will be accompanied by “pre-visits” to the museum website so that the visitor may check for any potentially relevant downloadable content.  The Wi-Fi spots also allow those spur-of-the- moment visitors to have equal access to free audiovisual content on their own mobile devices.  The Penn Museum is in the process of launching a new multimedia tour.  This tour, like its predecessor, is a highlights tour of the collection and features commentary from museum curators.  However, they have greatly expanded access as the tour is now available in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language (ASL).  The ability to offer an ASL tour comes with the museum’s upgrade in hardware to iPod Touch technology.  Now, visitors rent the iPod Touch  57 with the tour preloaded, as they would have at “Ancient Rome & America”.  It retains the random-access control feature of the previous tour but now all visitors who rent the technology at the museum will benefit from having the visual aspect of the tour in their hands.  Like the NCC, the Penn Museum multimedia tours feature images of the objects being discussed, allowing the visitor to orient themselves accurately and perhaps offering a new visual perspective on some of the objects.  Most importantly though, the new technology in use allows the museum to offer a full ASL tour.  In reality, an ASL tour is simply the tour in translation, as one would find with a Spanish-language tour.97  It is only recently, however, that these tours can be offered on handheld devices.  The large screens now featured on many mobile devices make it easy for deaf visitors to see and to control their tour according to their own preferences.  They are just as much in control of their experience as any hearing visitor.  This is an extraordinary development in accessibility and should prove to be a valuable use of mobile technology. Though it requires upfront costs for purchasing mobile devices with screens and the development of the tour itself, these costs should not prevent the introduction of similar ASL tours in a variety of museum institutions.  One might expect this funding could come from disability grants, private donors, and even corporate sponsors who wish to make accessibility a priority.  Both the 2009 tour and the new 2011 tour feature the voices of the museum’s own curators.  This is a convenient way of providing a high-level of scholarship and information for the objects while also giving visitors a chance to interact in some way with the people who have worked intimately with the objects and within the museum.   The visitors can feel a closer connection to the museum, the people within the museum, and the objects themselves because the visitors themselves are now privy to glimpses of the intellectual discussion around the objects.  In addition, the opportunity for visitors to revisit the museum at home, via the downloaded podcast, encourages connections beyond the physical space of the museum. Visitors are able to pre-visit the objects and re-visit the objects in a time and place of their choosing.  The museum has effectively extended its education reach beyond itself.  It seems from the use of the iPod Touch in both a one-time special exhibit and in a permanent collection that updated hardware, capable of a multimedia tour, is the route many museums and exhibits will take.  Certainly, financial constraints will limit many institutions from investing in these kinds of devices but the Penn Museum’s practice of providing the tour for free  97 Ibid., 107.  See also Chris Tellis, “Multimedia Handhelds: One Device, Many Audiences,” (paper presented at Museums and the Web 2004: Proceedings, Toronto, March 2004).  58 download is a method of avoiding too much financial output.  As more and more people grow up using their own personal mobile devices, museums may see less of a need to provide much hardware at all.  It seems likely that downloadable multimedia tours will become features of many permanent collections and exhibitions.  Traveling exhibitions may see slower growth in technology for reasons that we have already explored.  Additionally, these exhibits do not wish to place extra expectations on their visitors but prefer to provide the whole experience to the visitor upon their arrival.  In this way, they can provide a consistent and marketable product, no matter the time or venue.  The success of downloadable multimedia tours will also rest in part on an institution’s ability to provide free and consistent Wi-Fi so that visitors can access the content within the museum itself.  This is similar to a traveling exhibit’s need to provide everything for the visitor upon arrival; no undue expectations of “pre-visits” are placed on visitors.  The rate of development for mobile devices is such that museums will likely be unable to exist on the cutting edge of technology.  Many consumers will obtain and use the latest technology well before it trickles into the museum setting.  This is useful when museums do update their hardware and/or employ downloadable content as the visitors will already be familiar with much of the technology or use their own devices.  The ability for visitors to control their experience to some extent has existed since the introduction of the random-access control handsets.  Visitors are gaining even more control in permanent collections (where it is most desired, rather than in structured special exhibitions) when they have the option of downloading multimedia tours to their own mobile devices.   They may even preview the tour before visiting the museum to plan their experience more specifically.  The case studies examined here show the array of mobile technology options available to museums.  The implementation of new technologies and methods of sharing content with visitors will come from permanent collections and site-specific exhibits while traveling exhibitions will rely on older forms until such time as the cost and user-interface with the current technology becomes less prohibitive.   59 3.1.1 Websites As media technology and internet become nearly universally accessible in the U.S., museums have been forced to assess their own use of technology.  The museum experience has been altered by these new technologies, especially the user-driven ones, and as such, the concept of a museum is also being altered.  Museums can no longer be defined simply as “a building or place where works of art, scientific specimens, or other objects of permanent value are kept and displayed.”98  “They are undergoing “a fundamental shift from being primarily a presenter of objects to being a site for experiences.”99  The temporary exhibitions in this paper certainly have the “experience” aspect in mind when designing the exhibits and the technology used during a visit.  But increasingly, museums and exhibitions are expected to have a Web presence, a point of on-line access for potential visitors.  This off-site experience allows the museum to reach global audiences in ways previously impossible.  Whether these off-site experiences translate to on-site visits remains to be seen, though it is hotly debated on both sides.  For temporary and traveling exhibitions, the website is often used primarily for basic information: hours, ticket prices, and travel directions.  In the case of Tut and Cleopatra, each venue for the exhibit has its own pages for the exhibit with specific information.  The design and content is created according to a standard template in keeping with the exhibit’s overall design scheme.  Some information regarding the content of the exhibit itself is available but it is often simply a copy or adaptation of what is presented on the exhibit’s main website.  For example, the Franklin Institute had a number of pages dedicated to the Tut exhibit, including information about Tut himself and the discovery of his tomb.  The exhibit as its own entity has a main website ( that presents all the same information.  The venue-specific website and the main website both give the same information, although adapted somewhat differently from the original source:  Dr. Zahi Hawass’ Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs (official companion guide).   The content of the websites is not meant to give the visitor an off- site experience but is intended to provide historical background information and logistical information to aid in the on-site experience.  This same concept is employed with the Franklin Institute’s Cleopatra website.  Here, however, the exhibit does not have its own unique Web address.  The non-site specific website is  98 Maggie B. Stogner, “The Media-enhanced Museum Experience: Debating the use of Media Technology in Cultural Exhibitions,” Curator: The Museum Journal, 52 (2009): 385–6. 99 Hilde S. Hein, The Museum in Transition: A Philosophical Perspective (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2000), 65.  60 wrapped into National Geographic’s own website.   Unlike the Tut website, however, the user experience is amplified by multimedia offerings that can create an off-site experience.  The website visitor can navigate through slideshows, videos, historical information, and news items all related to Cleopatra and Egyptology in general.   This more extensive website experience may be attributed to the more limited tour schedule of the Cleopatra exhibit.  Thus far, it has been debuted in only two cities, with further stops still to be announced.  Unlike Tut, Cleopatra will not travel as extensively and thus the off-site experience may be the only experience some people have.  The National Constitution Center’s “Ancient Rome & America” website is similar to that of Cleopatra.  As the exhibit had a limited run in one place, the website offers a more extensive experience.  Visitors can navigate an exhibition walkthrough that features high-resolution photographs of some items, watch a portion of the video that was featured in the last room of the exhibit, and download educator resources.  While these cannot replace an on-site experience, they provide a certain gateway to the concept of the exhibit and to the items therein.  The NCC website does not seek to replace the physical experience of visiting the exhibit but to give potential visitors some context for what they will be seeing.  As educational groups are frequently visitors to the museum, one can imagine the instructor/teacher navigating through the website prior to the on-site museum visit and preparing the students for what they will see.  The rest of the NCC website is fairly standard, supplying ticket, parking, and event information to the casual user.  While its display aesthetics place the Penn Museum more in the “shrine” guise, one should not think of the museum as static or old-fashioned.  As a permanent institution, the museum has the opportunity to make tremendous use of its collection to create a virtual museum presence on the Internet.  The museum’s main website is extensive, informative, and provides detailed information about the galleries, exhibitions, and objects.  The museum has even progressed to creating online exhibitions that either bring together objects on a particular theme or gives an overview of particular collections.  Online visitors to the museum website can take virtual tours of particular areas and focus their experience on areas of individual interest.  Unlike the temporary exhibitions we have seen thus far, the Penn Museum creates a lasting web presence that extends far beyond the city of Philadelphia.  As an institution focused on research and education, the museum is motivated to provide a scholarly resource for educators and students.   To this end, the museum’s archives and publications from its many expeditions are also made available online.  While the casual visitor is unlikely to delve into these areas, it is a  61 vital aspect of the museum’s mission.  We have already seen the multimedia tours of the museum available for download, an aspect of the effort that has been put into the museum’s online presence.  Visitors can watch and listen to the tour at their convenience, extending the museum’s reach to beyond the physical site and beyond the home computer.  This multimedia download, in essence, becomes a mobile museum.   The museum’s website is heavily layered and can be explored for hours but does not overwhelm the visitor.  It is easy to navigate, both for those who wish only to find basic information as well as for those who seek for in-depth research information.  Mobile technology and websites have become integral to social media phenomena which have equally found their way into the museum experience.  Visitors no longer simply recount their experiences later to their friends but actively share it during the immediate experience. They are encouraged to use networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr to post comments and pictures.  The Penn Museum website has icons connecting visitors to the museum’s accounts on these and various other networks.  The Cleopatra website had similar icons but took this social networking even further.  In the exhibit itself, large placards were displayed prominently throughout the exhibit.  These verged on obtrusive to the exhibit itself as the signs were displayed directly next to many of the major artifacts.  One such sign was propped at the foot of the colossal statues of the Ptolemaic king and queen.  This was distracting and prompted consideration of whether actively participating in this social networking of the exhibit might distract from experiencing the exhibit itself.100  However, this social networking and connecting the physical experience with an online experience is commonplace and will likely appear in more exhibits, particularly blockbuster style ones.  So long as it does not intrude on the display and explanation of the artifacts, it can be an excellent way of increasing publicity for an exhibit or museum.  These methods of communication with young people especially are valuable ways for museums to remain current and connect with new audiences.  It is probable that we shall see increased efforts to tap into these online and mobile networks.   100 Studies of how the internet and social networking affect one’s daily life experiences surely abound. One might consider how the urge to document and share one’s activities may detract from the actual experiencing of the activities.  This would apply to museum visits as well as any other social occasion.  62 3.2 Corporate and Financial Considerations Having explored the case studies in some detail, we shall now turn to the numbers.  Who or what make these exhibits and collections possible and why are they considered worthwhile for the venues?  Most museums have little chance of landing a blockbuster exhibit like Tut because of the price tag associated with the loan of artifacts.  But the reality is that such exhibits can boost the museum’s revenue, attract new members, and bring general attention to the institution.  How then do they manage to bring in high-profile exhibits?  Often, the answer is partnerships with for-profit and corporate entities.  The Tut exhibit is one such example. In an unprecedented move, the Egyptian government demanded $5 million USD per city and a portion of ticket sales in return for letting the artifacts travel.  No museum could provide those loan fees, nor could National Geographic (a nonprofit organization).  It was corporate partnership that made the exhibition feasible.  Arts and Exhibits International (AEI) had already signed on to be the exhibit producer.  They brought in a third partner, Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), to do marketing and provide capital.  AEI is a division of AEG.  With these three partners in place, they were able to offer Egypt the total $20 million and portions of ticket sales. The artifacts were then leased to AEG in agreements that “specified transportation, display, and storage conditions.”  Insurance topped $1 million USD per city.101  While Egypt’s monetary demands were extraordinary, they were motivated by money. Bureaucracy and lack of funds had been blocking the construction of the Grand Museum of Egypt in Giza, a museum that had been approved in 1992.  A government campaign to raise $550 million for the project saw a U.S. tour as a means to make millions for the museum.  The Egyptian revolution has since delayed the museum’s completion date and a clear account of where the tour money has gone is hard to locate.  Zahi Hawass expressed a sentiment that may become commonplace when it comes to major exhibition of art and artifacts, “There are no free meals anymore.”102  Hawass was referring to the 1970s Tut exhibit, which was the most popular museum exhibition the U.S. had ever seen.  This exhibit was made possible by close cooperation between museums, and supported by negotiations and funding from the U.S. and Egyptian governments. No private companies or interests were involved.  Though the collaborating museums expected a  101 M. Kremer and T. Wilkening. “Protecting Antiquities: A Role for Long-Term Leases?” December 2010. Department of Economics Working Paper Series 1114, University of Melbourne, 4. 102 Sharon Waxman, “King Tut Treasures Will Return to U.S., but Won't Stop at the Met,” The New York Times, December 1, 2004.  63 big exhibit, they had no idea it would sweep the nation as it did.  But in the years since that exhibit, government funding for museums has been drastically cut and competition for private donors has increased.  Corporate partnerships and involvement of for-profit companies seems to be an inevitable evolution in the search for alternative funding.  This is particularly true for exhibits with expensive to insure items and their travel from overseas to the U.S.  While the museums and venues chosen for the Tut exhibit embrace the corporate partnerships, other museum professionals and scholars express discomfort with them.   Dr. Quint Gregory, of the University of Maryland, is one such individual.  “[It’s] troublesome because you’ve got a for-profit venture that’s interested in entertainment determining to some extent the content of a major show. Corporate sponsorship, in all its forms, has certainly been around, but that’s a little different than having responsibility for the organization of a show.”103  The involvement of AEG and AEI in the Tut and Cleopatra exhibits is indicative of a type of arrangement that may become more common.  The popularity and success of the exhibits allows museums and institutions to channel revenue to other areas because the monetary price tag is essentially nothing for them.  There may be another price to pay, as Dr. Gregory points out.  The academic and educational potential of the exhibit may be compromised, something we have briefly seen in the inclusion of the Taposiris Magna theory in the Cleopatra exhibit.  AEG’s motives for producing the exhibitions are at their core about making a profit.  Mike Boehm, a Los Angeles Times reporter who has written extensively about blockbuster exhibits, puts forward the core questions about these partnerships, “Should museums be depending on popularity or is their mission something else, something that's not geared for mass appeal but scholarly enterprise and inquiry? [Can] for-profit corporations do business in a way that doesn't violate museum standards, and [can] the museums make sure that their standards are lived up to, the standards of scholarship and of standard museum practice?”104  This is a fine line that museums and educational institutes are trying to negotiate.  The main difference about the Tut and Cleopatra exhibits discussed here is the involvement of AEG. Other shows have had corporate sponsors and producers but none so blatantly involved in the  103 Beizer, Breitkopf, and Litvinov, “Marketing the King.” 104 Mark Boehm. `New blockbusters: Traveling exhibits.', NPR: Talk of the Nation, 2005. Transcript retrieved from  64 entertainment business.105  The Cleopatra and Tut exhibits are different from other exhibits because they came as packages, created and produced by AEG and AEI, rather than being projects organized by curators and scholars and then presented to potential sponsors.  They are more similar in their creation and production to the rock concerts for which AEG is known than they are to traditionally created exhibits. “There’s too much focus on the bottom line,” according to Dr. Gregory. “There’s this demand for the maximization of profit when you have a Clear Channel-like group organizing it and you have the lending state, Egypt, [saying] we demand so much return. You have to ask whether they’re as concerned about the educational content as the theatrical experience.”106  While the Egyptian exhibits have progressed to one extreme in the search for corporate sponsorships, the Penn Museum and the National Constitution Center have adopted other corporate sponsorship strategies. The Penn Museum counted among its corporate members in 2010-2011: PECO (which also sponsored the Tut exhibit), Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation, PNC Foundation, ING Foundation, and many others.  These include both local and national companies.  As a part of a university, the museum relies on the University of Pennsylvania for a portion of its operating budget.107  According to its 2010 annual report, nearly 44% of its revenue comes from subvention, with gift and investment incomes combining to make up another 40%.  Individual and institutional donors are also vital in the museum’s budget; the most generous gifts are often earmarked for capital projects and the donors are thanked by having the project named in honor of them.  This is a common practice for museums and universities that has proven to be a reliable source of income.  With these sources of revenue, the museum successfully operated within its budget for both 2009 and 2010.108 The National Constitution Center also focuses on corporate memberships, foundational giving, and private gifts.  Its foundational supporters include: the Annenberg Foundation, the Starr Foundation, the William Penn Foundation, and the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation.  105 Contemporanea Progetti is one such company.  The United Exhibits Group out of Copenhagen is also well known.  It produced “Quest for Immortality – Treasures of Ancient Egypt” which opened in 2002 and traveled the U.S. concurrently with the Tut and Cleopatra exhibits. 106 Beizer, Breitkopf, and Litvinov. “Marketing the King.” 107 In 2008, facing a budget crisis, the museum received $7 million (USD) from the University of Pennsylvania to balance its $16.4 million budget.  Eighteen research positions were terminated to help with the crisis, though some of these researchers were able to be restructured back into museum employment.  Kathy Wang, “Financial crisis forces firing of 18 Penn Museum researchers.”  The Daily Pennsylvanian, November 26, 2008. 108 University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 2009-2010 Annual Report. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 2010.  65 In 2010, the NCC took in over $18 million USD, with an expenditure of $23.5 million. Operating at a loss would not necessarily concern the institution as it has consistent revenue and income. The NCC’s endowment has grown to over $45 million in the past ten years.  The bulk of the revenue comes from admission (44%) and contributions (25%).109  It is a far larger entity than the Penn Museum because it has an exceptional national reach and can call on a much wider network of support.  The NCC also has the advantage of its prominent location on Independence Mall where levels of tourist activity are high.  This then allows them constant revenue from admission sales though the stream is not nearly enough to cover its operating budget.110  3.2.1 Admission Prices The National Constitution center charges a regular admission fee of $12 USD for one adult entry.  Any special exhibitions or events are charged a separate entry fee.  Adult admission to “Ancient Rome & America” cost $20 USD, with an additional $5 USD for the iPod audio tour. The ticket price included admission to the NCC’s main exhibition “The Story of We the People” and the theater production “Freedom Rising.”  Visitors were also able to access Signer’s Hall.  The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology represents the most affordable option of all institutions discussed here; admission to the museum is $10 USD for adults.  Visitors can purchase the audio tour for an additional $5 USD or use their own devices and download the tour prior to their visit.  As a permanent collection, the museum’s pricing strategy is drastically different.  The levels of publicity and promotion do not spike as they would with the opening of high-profile temporary exhibitions.  The admission price for “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of Pharaohs” is high by most museum/learning center standards.  At the Discovery Times Square venue, adult admission was $27.50 USD, a price that did not include the audio tour (an additional $7 USD).  The Franklin Institute charged $32.50 USD for adult admission on the weekends and $27.50 USD for weekdays, with audio tours costing an additional $7 USD.  Other stops on the tour charged similar prices though none as high as in Philadelphia.  The higher admission cost at the Franklin Institute is likely because it included general admission to the Franklin Institute and a Fels Planetarium show.  These additional features were not available at a venue like the Discovery Times Square Exposition space.  Many of the venues offered packages deals with exhibit  109 The National Constitution Center, 2010 Annual Report. 110 In the 2010 annual report, the NCC had over $6 million in admission and other operating revenue.  66 admission; these might include the audio tour, admission to the rest of the venue (most often the case with science centers), and admission to the IMAX/Omnitheater screening of Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs.  However, at its most basic, admission into the exhibit typically cost $25 USD or more.   Dr. Hawass justified the high price of admission by asserting that half the profits of the exhibition tour would go towards the Grand Egyptian Museum that is being built in Cairo to permanently house King Tut’s treasures.  In its first four years of travel, the exhibit raised $100 million USD for the new museum, and the New York stop was projected to raise another $20 million from its 1.5 million visitors.  For any other exhibition, this price might be prohibitive for many potential audience members but the publicity and sensational news surrounding Tut made this a “must-see.”  Thus, visitors were willing to spend more for the experience than they would for a typical museum experience.   Admittedly, the cost of a Broadway-style theater experience is generally higher than this and there is no lack of audience for these shows.  Nonetheless, the rising price of museum exhibition admission may be indicative of the narrowing gap between audience perception of theater experience and museum experiences.  As the same entities were involved with “Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt” we can expect similar ticket prices. At the Franklin Institute, an adult ticket was $26.50 USD for Monday thru Thursday entry and $29.50 USD for Friday thru Sunday entry.  These prices however did include the audio tour, general admission to the Franklin Institute, and one Fels Planetarium Show.111  These prices are again fairly high but do not reach the levels of the King Tut exhibit as the publicity and sensation of the Cleopatra exhibit cannot match what surrounded Tut.  At various times, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology partnered with both the Franklin Institute and the National Constitution Center to provide discounted tickets for all the available exhibitions.  The Penn Museum organized its Amarna exhibit to coincide with the Tut exhibit at the Franklin Institute and continued the Egyptian experience during Cleopatra’s run.  The double ticket pricing for the Penn Museum and Cleopatra was $32 USD for adults on weekdays and $35 USD for weekends.  The double ticket for the Penn Museum and Tut was $33.50 (Tuesday-Thursday) and $38.50 (Friday/Saturday). The “Worlds Intertwined” exhibit complemented “Ancient Rome & America” in a similar  111 An adult ticket at the Cincinnati Museum Center, the show’s second stop, costs $23 USD for entry into the exhibit and the audio tour.  Combination tickets are available at discount prices for visitors who wish to take advantage of the Center’s other attractions (i.e. other exhibitions, Omnimax theater, other museums).  67 manner.  The Penn Museum and the NCC offered $2 USD reduced admission when the ticket of the opposite exhibit was presented.  These are special opportunities for the Penn Museum that provide opportunities for new visitors as well as increased publicity.  The Tut and Cleopatra exhibits were also used in joint promotions with area hotels and transportation.  Tourism packages were offered that provided exclusive access to the exhibits in addition to hotel discounts and other promotions.  The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation put together a website exclusively dedicated to promoting Cleopatra tourism.  This site allowed visitors to search the hotel packages, provides tourism itineraries, and information about Cleopatra and the exhibit itself.  The tourist itineraries are oriented toward specific groups (family, romantic, girls’ weekend, etc.) that highlight the variety of what Philadelphia has to offer.  One itinerary is Egyptian themed and gives a good indication of how the city’s service and tourism industries all collaborated to take advantage of the expected influx of visitors brought by the exhibit.112  The Tut exhibit had similar hotel packages, offered transportation discounts on Amtrak, ran a trolley specifically for the exhibit between the Franklin Institute and the Independence Visitor Center, and promoted special thematic menus at top area restaurants. GPTMC was heavily involved in promoting tourism via the Tut exhibit and invested $1 million in its marketing plan.113  The combination of two blockbuster exhibits undoubtedly affected the institution’s budget and publicity levels, as well as partnered institutions and businesses.  The entire city of Philadelphia saw increased tourism and economic activity.  112 These various itineraries and packages can all be viewed at GPTMC’s website: 113 GPTMC Press Release, November 9, 2006. opportunity-as-tut-s-last-stop-in-u-s  68 Chapter  4: Conclusion It is no surprise that the term ‘blockbuster’ is applied to both museum exhibits and theater/film hits.  The museum world has taken a cue from the entertainment industry, indeed in many ways has become part of it.114  We have seen that exhibit designs and marketing are being handled by large companies like Arts and Exhibitions International and AEG.  These companies specialize in creating traveling blockbusters, international entertainment sensations, that draw huge crowds and huge profits.  As the production levels of museum exhibitions rise, and the cost of insuring art and artifacts rises, museums must turn to new sources of funding.  For major exhibitions, this means corporate partners.  While some of these partners are willing to provide capital in return only for logo space on promotional materials, other partners are more intimately involved in the actual content of the exhibits.  AEI and AEG, parts of the same company, are at the forefront of this shift.  By taking on most of the financial responsibility, they enable exhibits of rare artifacts to travel throughout the U.S.  But they also take on the task of creating and producing the exhibit, a process that can obscure some of the finer and more subtle scholarly aspects of the artifacts and their context. The involvement of National Geographic and Discovery Communications in exhibits also affects the design and content of major exhibitions.  Though the companies have a reputation for producing educational media and sponsoring research, they are often susceptible to pressure to create entertainment at the expense of intellectual rigor.  This is particularly true of Discovery, which, at least, is aware that with television as its primary medium it must create sensational and exciting programming to entertain its audience.115  National Geographic is active in sponsoring archaeological pursuits, as we have seen with the Egyptian exhibits, and thus is a key component in the production and publicity of the exhibits.  While it is generally considered more scholarly than Discovery Communications, it too can verge into the entertainment industry in order to maintain its audience.  Nevertheless, these entities are important in providing opportunities for  114 In fact, an exhibition entitled “Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology” opened at the Montreal Science Centre in April 2011.  The partners behind this production include both entertainment companies and educational institutions, namely Lucasfilm Ltd., X3 Productions, National Geographic Society, and the Penn Museum.  These partnerships take advantage of the entertainment and thrill of the Indiana Jones films to draw visitors to the exhibit, wherein, presumably, they learn some of the realities of archaeology. 115 A quick look at some of Discovery’s programming, on all of its channels, reveals the balancing act between entertainment and providing nonfiction media that can be educational.  The Discovery Channel alone has a penchant for reality TV shows that follow individuals with unusual or dangerous jobs.  69 museums to host big exhibitions and providing content for the exhibitions.  National Geographic’s involvement with Zahi Hawass and his key role in Egyptian excavations and providing permission for artifacts to travel guarantees that Hawass will somehow be involved in major exhibitions about Egypt.  His big personality and love of the media, though sometimes criticized, makes him appealing to large portions of potential exhibit visitors.  The involvement of media companies is an asset for museums who cannot dedicate as much of their budget to publicity.  These companies are also comfortable creating high-production value experiences that will entertain and enthrall audiences.  This approach is vital for bringing visitors in to the museums and making them potential recurring visitors. But not all exhibits and museums are as intimately involved with media and high-profile entertainment companies.  The Penn Museum, in certain ways, often finds itself collaborating with these companies but does not use them for its own permanent collections or to produce its in-house temporary exhibits.  More often, the Penn Museum is providing curators and scholars to assist in content creation for exhibits as well as providing actual artifacts for display.  As a permanent archaeological collection, the museum does not seek the major exhibitions but partners with them in various ways.  This allows the museum to take advantage of the media benefits and increase its own visitor numbers.  It can easily create complementary exhibits when the blockbusters come to Philadelphia, helping create a citywide tourism experience.  The expansiveness of the Penn Museum collection ensures its role in a huge variety of potential shows and the museum has shown itself willing to collaborate in many ways.  The museum has partnered with international touring exhibitions but also works closely with other Philadelphia institutions as we saw with the “Ancient Rome & America” exhibit.  Again, this consisted of the involvement of Penn scholars and artifacts. The National Constitution Center is a massive institution with its own nationwide reach. Like the Penn Museum, it does not have the need to bring in major production companies for its exhibits or bring in major traveling exhibits.  Occasionally it will do so (AEI was involved with “Diana: A Celebration” that was shown at the NCC in 2009-2010) but can just as easily conceive of and execute its own exhibits with the help of smaller exhibition design firms.  As it does not have a sizable collection of its own, the NCC borrows from a huge array of institutions, both in and outside of Philadelphia, thus making it a recurring partner in joint endeavors.  The NCC’s location guarantees it as a tourist destination and its mission dictates many of the themes of its exhibitions.  “Ancient Rome & America” fits into that mission and was designed around the NCC’s mission and the city of Philadelphia.  The exhibition, though not as newsworthy as those  70 at the Franklin Institute, served as a way to make Roman antiquities accessible to audiences in a new way.  The NCC and the Penn, because they are more autonomous in their collections and exhibitions, are also able to take advantage of new trends and advances in technology. We have seen that the Tut and Cleopatra exhibits do not test the boundaries of mobile technology because the exhibits must travel and be adapted to a variety of venues.  Within the exhibit displays themselves, the multimedia experience can be important to the entertainment factor.  Both audio and video hotspots serve as attention hooks and explore the technology used in excavation and research but this innovation does not extend to the handheld tours.  The NCC and the Penn Museum, as venues with tight control over their exhibits, are able to explore and make use of more popular technology.  The Penn Museum can dedicate resources to creating multimedia mobile tours for its collection because these tours can be used for a long time.  The NCC has the resources to invest in the equipment itself which dictates the kind of multimedia tours it will offer.  Though the NCC exhibits are temporary, the institution’s prominence in the tourism landscape compels it to continue to innovate and take advantage of popular technology. The comparison drawn by mobile technology extends to the online presence of the exhibits and museums as well. The NCC and the Penn Museum dedicate more time to their web presence because they seek to be accessible to national and international audiences.  The NCC’s web presence may be more about attracting visitors and providing information, akin to the Egyptian exhibits, but it does also seek to provide a reasonably comprehensive view of all of its exhibits.  Of all the exhibits and institutions, the Penn Museum does the most to bring the physical on-site experience to the on-line user.  Their ability to do so and their motivations are similar to the ones they have for their mobile technology.  Their audience may not have the opportunity to experience the museum in person and so the website takes the place of the museum itself.  The long history, massive permanent collection, and presence of ongoing scholarship makes the museum website a vital tool for many people.  Educators and students of all ages can make use of it according to their own needs and schedules.  While such a web presence is admirable, it does not serve everyone’s purpose.  The motive behind blockbuster exhibits is to draw people to the venue and the exhibit itself.  They are crafted to make the lived experience as exciting and alluring as possible.  While the associated websites are professional and reasonably informative, they are not meant to take the place of visiting the exhibit.  They spur excitement and publicity to prompt more visitors.  These exhibits use social media in this way as well.  By allowing the  71 visitor to document and share the exhibit experience, they are guaranteeing that that visitor’s social network will also hear about the exhibit, thus increasing potential visitors. The economic benefits that these audiences can bring to an institution and an entire city are enormous.  Any major metropolitan area with a suitable venue is likely to seek such exhibits. However, the success of the blockbuster relies also on its rarity.  That is, constant blockbuster exhibits would numb audiences to the thrill they are supposed to feel and sap an institution’s ability to promote its own collection and research.  Many institutions realize this and do not engage major exhibits as often as they potentially could.116  This is, in some ways, an effort to avoid an entirely market-driven industry.  The museum shrine, even with its drawbacks, is still valued by the public and held up as a signifier of a city’s cultural worth.  Financial need assures the continued life of blockbuster-type exhibits like Tut and Cleopatra because these exhibits benefit the venue as well as neighboring cultural institutions.  The partnerships we have seen are likely to continue and grow as the cultural network of a city grows tighter in order to remain viable. In a city such as Philadelphia, museums have a distinct advantage.  Many are very old institutions, beloved as much for their history as for their exhibits and collections.  The sheer number of them allows a variety of relationships and partnerships to exist, permanently and when special exhibits are on display.  There is stability in this arrangement as visitors to one institution are more easily guided to another institution.  There is a danger that when blockbuster exhibitions are in town visitation numbers at smaller museums will suffer as visitors opt for the blockbuster over the smaller museum.  The partnerships we have seen can partially address this potential problem though not erase it.  Philadelphia’s tourism industry also provides a consistent flow of potential museum-goers.  The city’s history assures tourism activity and this enables museums to remain stable, though not always wildly popular.  Despite certain unique features, Philadelphia is much like any other metropolis in the United States.  By examining its particular museums and the exhibits displayed therein, we obtain a partial understanding of the museum field at large in the United States.  Major traveling exhibitions are welcomed into these cities for economic reasons, though many recognize the entertainment value can overshadow the intellectual value.  Nevertheless, the exhibitions open up cultural institutions to audiences that  116 Exceptions to this are venues like the Discovery Times Square space and the O2 in London.  These are purpose-built for major traveling exhibitions.  As New York City and London are major tourist destinations, they can consistently rely on new audiences who will not be wearied by a constant stream of blockbusters.  72 may not otherwise consider visiting them.  There is value in this and it ensures the continuation of such exhibits.  Still, the more traditional exhibits and museum display, as seen in the Penn Museum and “Ancient Rome & America”, will also persist as the baseline for museum exhibition.  Slowly, elements of the blockbuster, be it themes, display aesthetics, or multimedia experiences, will become part of these exhibits.  But these museums and exhibits will also influence the blockbusters.  As they are able to forge into new areas of technology and consistent web presence, the blockbuster shows will begin to adopt these technologies.  Both versions are able to innovate and provide valuable methods and materials for the other to implement. The continued success of all styles of exhibition of antiquities indicates that museum- goers and potential museum-goers remain fascinated by the ancient world.  The world of ancient Egypt is consistently enthralling because of its perceived mystery and otherness while Greco- Roman antiquities feel more familiar and give a sense of continuity from the past to the present for the American viewer.  It is interesting to note that the Egyptian exhibitions are in the blockbuster style while the Greco-Roman exhibitions remain more consistently in a traditional style of display.  Much of this stems from the abovementioned perception of these cultures. Egyptomania spurs high-profile exhibitions while the Greco-American antiquities that constitute the cultural legacy of the U.S. are treated in a more staid fashion.  Both have their advantages and disadvantages but both are necessary for a vital and growing museum industry.    73 Bibliography Alexander, E.P. and M. Alexander, 2008. 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