This spring, the Collective traveled to New York with members of the Mathey community to explore one of America’s most esteemed institutions. The tour was led by the Museum’s associate director of graphic design, Catharine Weese, and Molly Magnell, who designed the “Addressing the Statue” exhibit at the AMNH. This special exhibit explores the meaning of the statue as both a celebration of Theodore Roosevelt “as a devoted naturalist” and a monument that “communicates a racial hierarchy that the Museum and members of the public have long found disturbing.”* Students were taken through the Museum’s holdings and continuous exhibits – such as the monumental dinosaur skeleton pictured below – and were able to have a fruitful and friendly dialogue with our generous guides over lunch. Topics of discussion included the ethics of museum acquisitions, the thought process behind methods of curation, and the implementation of institutional mission statements, among others.
*Please see the special exhibit’s webpage, found at https://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/addressing-the-theodore-roosevelt-statue.