September 30, 2008

NMAI = piece of junk

Chuck Rozanski is president of Mile High Comics--possibly the largest comics shop in the world. As you probably don't recall, Rozanski is also a Native aficionado with a huge pottery collection. I posted something about The Pottery-Comics Connection back in 2006.

Anyway, Rozanski visited Washington DC while at a comic-book convention in Baltimore. Here's a note from his newsletter (received 9/27/08) on the National Museum of the American Indian:

Chuck's Van, with 30,000 Comics, Gets Towed Away!Our head buyer, Will Moulton, is with me on this trip, and he had never seen Washington, D.C., so we spent most of yesterday at tourist sites. We started off in the National Gallery (where we took each other's photos with our favorite van Gogh's), and then we walked the entire length of the Mall down to the beautiful Lincoln Memorial. It then began raining, but we still took time to pay our respects at the Korean and Vietnam memorials. After that, we headed to the new Museum of the American Indian. In all honesty, I have to tell you that the designers of that piece of junk should simply be fired. They need to gut that monstrosity and start over, as it is the single worst museum that I have ever seen. The majority of the space in the museum is wasted in vain attempts at achieving a hodgepodge of Native American imagery, which in the end makes no sense. As a result, there is practically nothing on display of the one million+ piece collection of Native American artifacts that the Smithsonian holds in trust for the American people, including the legendary Heye collection that was put together by an exceptionally avaricious New York banker during the period of 1880-1920. The first two floors are focused on two monumental gift shops, while the top two floors are dedicated mostly to meeting rooms and a theater. Admission was free, but I still wanted a refund upon leaving, for having had my time wasted so needlessly.Comment:  This diatribe is reminiscent of the last diatribe I posted about the NMAI: Visitors Don't "Get" Museum. Of course, I still haven't seen the museum myself, so I can't say whether these opinions are valid or not.

P.S. Chuck got his van and comics back safe and sound.

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