Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj
Vastu Sangrahalaya

formerly prince of wales museum of western india

 

Director General's Desk

Greetings from the CSMVS, Mumbai!

Director

We are delighted to present Volume 9, Issue 2, 2016

It was indeed wonderful to hear appreciation from many friends and well-wishers from all over the world about the quality and the presentation of our previous Special Edition ‘Exhibitions@CSMVS’. As I mentioned in some of our previous issues that the editorial team of the Newsletter will be selecting such topics which might be interesting and informative from the latest museum studies’ point of view. Hence, the title of the current Newsletter “Museum on Wheels” has been discussed at different levels and finally considered and approved after proper assessing the merit of the project and its success. We take this opportunity to share our experiment, pain, pleasure and happiness with everyone, more particularly museum professionals and students of museology in the country.

The concept of “Museum on Wheels” or a “Travelling Exhibition Bus” is not new in the country; unfortunately, for some unknown reasons it has always remained synonymous with the Science & Technology museums and such initiatives and continuity can hardly be heard about in the art and archaeology museums. Essentially, it is a big bus which carries exhibitions of photographs and charts, models, replicas and antiquities, in short, a full-fledged curated show with purpose. Then the question arises, what is the purpose of a travelling exhibition? And the answer could be traced in the definition of museum which highlights the purpose as education, knowledge and enjoyment. These are some basic features that could be seen in most of the travelling museum buses all over the world. However, the CSMVS creation appropriately titled “Museum on Wheels” is a unique one for the following distinct characteristic features;

  • The bus was designed as visitor -friendly by a professional in consultation with the Curatorial team
  • The concept of universal accessibility was considered and finally, incorporated in the design
  • Technology was used for interpretation such as audio-visual, video and digital experience
  • Rotating exhibitions (theme based) according to needs of schools
  • Education programs for special groups (people with physical and other difficulties)

This project was an integral part of our Museum Modernization Phase II which we conceived in 2011 and later received a generous support from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Today, we successfully complete one year of our education extension program – a program which was specially designed for students and young adults with democratic values and sensitivity.While celebrating the 1st anniversary of the successful implementation of “Museum on Wheels” project, I take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the Ministry of Culture, Government of India for its timely support and also our partners at the Citi India for extending their support for maintenance and costs of education extension programs for three years.

This project was an integral part of our Museum Modernization Phase II which we conceived in 2011 and later received a generous support from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. Today, we successfully complete one year of our education extension program – a program which was specially designed for students and young adults with democratic values and sensitivity.While celebrating the 1st anniversary of the successful implementation of “Museum on Wheels” project, I take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the Ministry of Culture, Government of India for its timely support and also our partners at the Citi India for extending their support for maintenance and costs of education extension programs for three years.

  • Identifying schools, institutes and organizations based on locations and backgrounds
  • Designing education programs after consulting schools
  • Providing training to staff to handle difficult situations and linguistic issues
  • Accountability and commitment on part of Management

These challenges were accepted with humility and perseverance. This Newsletter carries a series of reports (see pages 38 - 42), where my colleagues in education department bring in more authentic information from the actual sites.

It was decided by the Trustees of the Museum that the services and education facilities have to be extended to everyone free of cost irrespective of cast, creed and religion. Realizing the needs of different communities with their social and cultural background, the education department has introduced a series of creative and innovative education programs along with the travelling exhibition to reach out to all strata of society. We could see the reflection of similar sentiments in one of the interviews of Catherine de Bourgoing, Head of the Education Department of Paris Municipal Museums with the ICOM News (No.2, Volume 47, 1994), where she said, “ The museum is not a school. It has to respect the thirst for knowledge that the public shows now more than ever and also respect the visitor who comes just for his enjoyment, who already knows about a work of art and just wants to contemplate. We are always torn between these two considerations but in the end we have to ensure that all visitors find what they are seeking. We also have to think about the needs of the blind, the deaf, and the handicapped”. The trustees of the CSMVS believe in excellence and equity and acknowledge the need to disseminate knowledge, expertise and resources through professional and virtual networks in addition to the circulation of material objects.

It gives us a great deal of satisfaction when we see poorest among the poor are participating and taking a deep pride in their rich cultural heritage and sharing it with their parents and friends. This is the culture that helps us to rethink who we are as a people – its bio-diversity, heritage buildings and artifacts, behavior and attitude of the world in which we are living and the way we think and look at, learn and communicate.

We hope you find this Newsletter as enjoyable and informative as the previous one.
We thank you for your continued support.

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