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Case study of museums We don’t go to museums. We prefer malls, cinema halls, and restaurants. Visiting a museum What according to the author is the reason for fewer footfalls in the museums in India? - English Elective - NCERT

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Short Note

Read the given case-based passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

 

Case study of museums

1.

We don’t go to museums. We prefer malls, cinema halls, and restaurants. Visiting a museum is best left to schools which makes it mandatory. After all, it is an academic exercise. And what entertainment can these places possibly offer? India doesn’t boast the greatest of museums, but one can’t doubt the collection of artefacts in these repositories of heritage, even for a second. Our eventful history has handed down us numerous masterpieces, but unfortunately, we don’t find them compelling enough. A cultural historian and museologist Jyotindra Jain says that the habit of going to museums has just not been inculcated in us. One of the best museums in the country, the National Museum in Delhi charges a mere Rs. 20. According to Joyoti Roy, outreach consultant, National Museum, it receives between 6,00,000 to 7,00,000 visitors each year and anything between 2,500 and 3,000 per day. The mix includes Indians, foreigners, and school students. For an Indian museum, it is an astounding figure, but still nowhere close to the footfalls museums, we consider the finest, get.

2. It has not been many days since the National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore, hosted A. Ramachandran’s expansive retrospective covering five decades of his artistic journey. As we sat outside the first-floor gallery after Ramachandran walked me through his sketches, sculptures, and paintings, the senior artist, a bit disappointed said, “Had an exhibition of this scale taken place abroad, people would have come in thousands.” There were about three-five visitors inside the gallery at that time. Jain, who has also helmed institutions like the Crafts Museum and Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts in Delhi, puts the onus on museums. “We developed the museums but didn’t evolve the infrastructure around it. And it is the museum’s responsibility to do it. When you know, people are not going to come to you, you must go to them. Crafts Museum shares its wall with India Trade Promotion Organisation. It receives lakhs of people during the trade fair. I fought tooth and nail to get that door opened during my tenure (1984-89) so that the visitors spill over to the Crafts Museum as well. Museums need to rethink their strategies and outreach should be a major point of concern for them.”
3. In 2010, UNESCO brought out a report on the terrible conditions at India’s top eight museums, citing substandard maintenance, lighting, and signage, among other issues. The Ministry of Culture put together a 14 - point museum reforms agenda and things have moved forward since then. Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum, the oldest museum in Mumbai has received 3,00,000 visitors over the past year. On average, the museum witnesses 500 visitors every day, with an average of 2,000 visitors over weekends. Not big numbers again, but impressive enough in the Indian context. And this is when the museum re-emerged after a revamp in 2008 with an extensive exhibition programme. Collaborations, screenings of movies of different genres, and workshops for adults and children contributed to the increase in the number of footfalls. The public-private partnership model of the museum is unique and can be replicated in other cases as well.
4. Robust publicity of exhibitions and creating links between different art spaces can also fetch the audience. Different art institutions located in proximity can host a series of events to be held in each one of them simultaneously. Museums also need to transform their cafes, upgrade their museum shops, and most importantly, invest in their human resource. So, what do we do until then? Let’s go and explore these storehouses of history, culture, and knowledge because unless and until we claim them, they will remain indifferent to our needs.

After studying the case study of museums, answer the following questions.

  1. What according to the author is the reason for fewer footfalls in the museums in India?
  2. What measures are suggested in the passage to multiply the visitors to the museums?
  3. What was the proposition given by A. Ramachandran during his tenure at Crafts Museum?
  4. Between the National Museum of Delhi and Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum, which museum has more footfall on daily basis? Justify using statistics provided in the study.
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Solution

  1. People prefer malls, cinema halls, and restaurants.
    No entertainment value.
    The habit of going to museums has not been inculcated.
  2. Robust publicity of exhibitions-Creating links between different art spaces -Different art institutions located in proximity can host a series of events to be held in each one of them simultaneously. Museums also need to transform their cafes, upgrade their museum shops, and most importantly, invest in their human resource-Public-Private partnership.
  3. Crafts Museum shares its wall with India Trade Promotion Organisation. It receives lakhs of people during the trade fair. He proposed to get that door opened so that there is an increase in visitors to the Crafts Museum.
  4. The national museum witnesses more footfall compared to Bhau Dauji museum. It sees 2500-3000 daily visitors compared to around 500 visitors of Bhau Dauji museum.
Concept: Reading
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