Catching young people’s interest in the stories behind museum objects can be difficult. Curators have tried to make exhibitions more exciting and interactive; now they’re starting to encourage children to curate and share their own collections. One such initiative is Caboodle, a fun website created by Culture24 and a range of collaborating museums. Under a number of subject headings – arty, toys, nature, people, treasures, random – young people can categorise and showcase photos of objects and collections they like or care about, many of which they’ve made themselves. Each object contains a short note. There are pictures of animals, flowers, rubbers, frogs, nice tops, places in Brighton, of shiny things, even of puddles in the woods… And children’s things feature as highly and importantly on the website as the ‘re-packaged’ objects presented by partner museums (check out the Storrington’s chocolate ice-skates!).
In a similar vein, the Wallace Collection has opened its doors to a group of pupils from St. Vincent’s Catholic School who have reimagined the meanings and significance behind individual treasures. Their exhibition, ‘Shhh… it’s a Secret’, starts today and runs until the 28th of March, 2010.
It’s a great time for collecting, and for talking about things!