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Locating Houston's Museum for Missing Places

By Eric J. Leshinsky

Abstract

In Houston, Texas, a vibrant museum culture dedicated to the preservation of precious artworks and antiquities is oddly juxtaposed against a turbulant economy and an ethos propelled by short-term vision, rapid and unregulated change, and the uncertainty of enduring architectural landmarks. The museum of missing places is a new museum and cultural archive in Houston, Texas, attempting to exist as part of this unstable environment rather than in spite of it, and aspiring to be what this city's other renowned museums are not: an institution that can activate the public life of the city but also study it, and in turn propose a new set of cutatorial practices that might allow a museum to better integrate itself with its surrounding environment. Sharing the mission of existing museums in gathering, ordering, and exhibiting cultural information that is of broad public interest, the museum for missing places distinguishes itself by turning outward to the city; by initiating dialogues with a public-at-large in places where they've never existed before; and by employing a variety of experimental curatorial tactics to allow the boundaries between museum and its audience to disappear

Topics: Cultural anthropology, Architecture, Urban planning, Regional planning
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:scholarship.rice.edu:1911/17891
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