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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  For the New Ancient Coin Collector (Moderators: wolfgang336, cscoppa, Gavignano, Lucas H)  |  Topic: Coins and Museums 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Coins and Museums  (Read 662 times)
nikos k
Guest
« on: November 27, 2009, 12:58:27 pm »

I have a quite basic question here
I am wondering what are the standards that museums have as about coins in order to display them?
I mean,that collectors collect and have standards as styling,centering,high grade,to complete an area or an emperor etc...
Every one creates his own standards,yes?
What about museums? Why a museum will choose to display this specific coin and not the other of the same type? I know that there is not a single answer for this, i am just asking for ideas about the basic philosophy behind museums displays.
They see the coins only for artistry progress of ancient times? What are the other things they see and judge?
Is hard for me to believe that museums think exactly as a collector thinks.
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Lloyd Taylor
Guest
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2009, 02:13:57 pm »

It very much depends on the objective of the display and the institution concerned and also the target audience for the display.

Sometimes the coins are displayed with and adjacent other antiquities of the same period, often one or a few coins inserted among other antiquities.  These are usually examples of very high grade and artistic merit and appear to be on display as a compliment to the other items and thus give a more complete overview of the period e.g. some of the displays in the Metropolitan. Understanding context is the objective in such cases.

At the other other extreme the coins are displayed row on row, cabinet on cabinet, as part of a massive collection on display to give an understanding of the development of coinage, or the coinage of a particular place, or era e.g. Athens Numismatic Museum, or the coin display  rooms of the British Museum. In this case the the best available examples of a type available to the Museum are usually on display but grade or artistic merit are not the paramount determinant, rather it is the comprehensive understanding and representation of a specific coinage that is sought to be conveyed.  This sort of display is directed very much to the person with a strong numismatic interest, or research interest, rather than the general visitor to a museum.
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Lloyd Taylor
Guest
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2009, 03:04:37 pm »

This article provides some insight on the intent and basis of the the Numismatic Museum of Athens:

http://www.archaeology.org/0005/etc/museum2.html

".....Far from being just another museum with vitrines of coins, the newly-opened Athens Numismatic Museum shows how exciting and informative ancient money can be when carefully presented in its many historical, archaeological and artistic aspects." 

A joy to visit and learn!
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nikos k
Guest
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2009, 03:02:12 am »

Thank you very much for being so helpful.
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museumguy
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Posts: 367


I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance.


« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2009, 07:21:39 am »

Nikos,

Lloyd is absolutely right.  There are many reasons why museums choose to exhibit some item types and not others.  I would also add a few other considerations like curatorial expertise (if in fact a particular museum even HAS a curator with such expertise), budget, and occasionally although not the best scenario some museums must display certain artifacts (coins, sculpture, ceramics, etc) that have been donated as a condition of the donation.  Again, although not optimum, it does happen.

Museums and collectors often do think alike.  One collects for personal benefit while the other collects for institutional benefit.  Both want the best possible quality based on what their budgets will allow.  Museums, however, unlike collectors have to be accountable to their superiors (e.g., Department chair, Board of Trustees, Director) as well as gauge the interest of the public (aka museum patrons).  Collectors are generally only accountable to themselves and their checkbook.

Steve
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FORVM`s Classical Numismatics Discussion Board  |  Numismatic and History Discussions  |  For the New Ancient Coin Collector (Moderators: wolfgang336, cscoppa, Gavignano, Lucas H)  |  Topic: Coins and Museums « previous next »
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