Friday, October 5, 2012

Amelioration at the MIM

On a whim today, I returned to the Musical Instrument Museum in North Phoenix, mostly because I wanted to see if anything had changed with the Vatican City exhibit as I prepared for the re-posting of Mortification at the MIM on another Catholic website.

I set out for the exhibit, only to find that it no longer occupied its previous space just inside the front entry to the Europe exhibit hall.  A staff member directed me to its new location: the far back corner.

I was about to unleash some adrenalin when, lo and behold, I looked down at the exhibit and read:

                  The new placard for the Vatican City exhibit!

It’s still a diminutive, unremarkable exhibit, sandwiched between Italy and Sardinia.  So much more could be taught and learned.

Audio?  No.

Video?  Nope.

Reflective of the full contribution of the Church to the history of Western music?  Not even close.

Overt mocking?  Gone.

A small step for the MIM and, I suppose, a tiny leap in the right direction for the portrayal of our Church and her musical legacy.



Addendum 

But wait, there’s more!  I went back to the MIM yesterday to do a small fact check because their curator’s office won’t return my calls.  It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because I found this!


The previously secular organ exhibit has been transformed into a brand new Cathedral Music section with four video screens containing sweeping views of several cathedrals and four corresponding audio soundtracks!   

Interestingly, while the cathedrals are named in the exhibit and there is a reference to the Annunciation in one of the videos, I was unable to locate the words "Catholic" or "Christian."  Seems to me like an elephant in the room.

But on the whole, I am markedly thankful for the modifications at the MIM.

 

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