In Brief

The British Museum tells a fascinating story of the world's history through the objects we've created.

When the British Museum introduced it’s The History of the World in One Hundred Objects exhibition; they were not “reinventing” the wheel, for a museum is ultimately about narrating the history of ideas through objects. What they were good at doing was limiting it; this requires some very thoughtful and considerate curation.

To extend the narrative reach, the director of the British Museum has told a story about each artifact on the radio. Of the numerous artifacts that he chose, one was a coin from the era of King Edward VII that was defaced with the slogan “Votes for Women.” While there is still a century of history after this artifact, the choice is very telling about the modern condition: in that invokes appropriation and graffiti to questions the structures and rights of social hierarchies, and lastly, in our digital zeitgeist, the circulation of the message with such an object is likely to build a networked audience.

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