p.s. It’s Not Just Art Museums

Posted: April 23, 2018 in Uncategorized

The art exhibition, “Mining the HMNS: An Investigation by The Natural History Museum,” in Houston, Texas, raises the question: “Is the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences a museum, or a PR front for the fossil fuel industry?”

The exhibition is a collaboration between The Natural History Museum, a mobile museum created by Not An Alternative, a Brooklyn based collective engaged in art and activism, and t.e.j.a.s. (Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services), a community-based activist organization in East Houston.

It is part of the group show, “Shattering the Concrete: Artists, Activists and Instigators,” at Project Row Houses, an arts organization that explores “art’s role in challenging the current political paradigm and fomenting political change,” on display through June 19.

  1. Ben Battistone says:

    This was disappointing to read about, and made me think about how far the capital of the oil industry can reach and what those implications are. It seems that the whole point of “good” science as a disciple is to determine truths empirically and without any sort of subjective bias. The front put on by the oil industry definitely calls into question that museum’s message on climate change and also causes people to doubt the conclusions of other climate change science organizations, despite the fact that they may be legitimately less polluted by the agenda of the petroleum industry.

    • If this had been my IT3 class, we would have read some fascinating scholarship about the ideological origins of the Museums of Natural history in London and New York. I had hoped, in IT8, to get deeper into Crimp’s views on the very fraught origin of the Museum of Art in Berlin, but we simply ran out of semester. I imagine, though, that you can extrapolate, from our discussion of the creation of the history of modern art at the MoMA, much of what Crimp has to say about Berlin’s Altes Museum.

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