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Not Rosie the Riveter again! How many “Women’s Museums” do we have to have?

April 1, 2014

My latest blog post for the Los Angeles Times:

Visit the exhibit pages on the National Women’s History Museums already elaborate website and you’ll see what I mean. Here they all are, like boxes on a checklist: Rosie the Riveter, Sojourner Truth, Clara Barton, suffragettes, immigrants, Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Equal Rights Amendment demonstrators — yawn. A panel of outside women scholars recently parted ways with the museum, citing historical inaccuracies in one of the exhibits. But perhaps they were just bored silly.

The National Women’s History Museum is one of the latest ventures in what New York Times critic Edward Rothstein has called “identity museums.” An identity museum is a museum whose purpose isn’t to show off art or artifacts but “to affirm a particular group’s claims, outline its accomplishments, boost its pride and proclaim, ‘We must tell our own story!’

Posted by Charlotte Allen,0,5393296.story#ixzz2xcfXrGjs


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