Museology lessons. Training course for the Yangon National Museum conservators and Architecture Universities Departments
Yangon National Museum 13- 19 February 2019

Museography lessons

1 - For a museum history as a building.

1a - Critical historical framework of the museum concept: a modern architectural type.

Synthetic history of the museum idea evolution and  the definition as a Muses place.

From the Wunderkammer (lack of systematization and method in the selection /collection) to a new building idea, passing through the noble palaces Galleries.

From the relationship between works of pure aesthetic-contemplative type (the Antiquarium, the gallery, the gliptoteca ...) up to the thematic explosion of contemporaneity (... the museum of everything ...).
1b - The fundamental contribution of Italy in defining the idea of a museum.

The question of the relationship with the presence of its immense historical-archaeological heritage.

The historical sense of the past (Winckelmann). The emblematic Italian museums:
- the Capitolini Museum, the first museum in the world - (from the new building to the refurbishment by Aymonino architect.
- the Vatican Museum (Pio Clementino and Braccio nuovo)

 - The Uffizi.
The concept of a widespread museum: the heritage enhanced there, where it stays.

The museographic approach outside the museum.

The museum as a pole within a network spread throughout the territory. (brief explanation. of the museum's Metro C in Rome, as an example of a museum "outside" the museum).


2 - The museographic project themes

The basic issues that animate the project of a museum: identification and comparative analysis through some significant international experiences.
2a -Adaptable articulation of spaces:

the Moretti master sequence; succession of ENVIRONMENTS = entrance / reception / spatial sequence-path / spaces to support the visit.

2b - Space serving, spaces served.

The increasingly important role of SERVICES in the functioning of a contemporary museum.

Deposits / restoration and conservation laboratories / educational workshops / museum depots / technical and plant rooms; but also spaces and functions that accompany the actual visit experience: bookshop, cafeteria, restaurant, spaces for temporary exhibitions. Without these services the museum can hardly be perceived and rise to a meaningful and shared role from the social point of view.
2c - Natural and artificial light.

The relationship with places is intrinsically linked to the brightness of the sky of that specific place.

Evolution of the approach to the natural light management: the various phases and different ways of working with light in the museum space: from the Dulwich gallery by J. Soane, to the devices by Renzo Piano up to the "painting" windows by Alvaro Siza.

Artificial light and the construction of the timeless space of the encounter with art (contacted Guzzini for technical materials).

2d - Plant systems and linings.

Plant issues as a theme of treatment and configuration of the exhibition space. An apparently marginal theme compared to the artistic-user object relationship and instead a fundamental question that easily becomes a component of phenomenal-perceptual "disturbance".
2e - The art of presentation.

Ostensive systems;

 micro architectures for the exaltation of the value of cultural material.

The way in which a cultural material is proposed is part of its significant bearing.

 It is not enough to put  a find on a pedestal, or put under a case, or correctly illuminate it, to make it "speaking".

In the human life experience the empathic dimension find its place between space, objects and human being, which is the result of the characteristics and qualities of the physical space within which we act. In this sense, the figurative dimension and the stage presence of ostensive systems is an essential part of this discourse.


3. the staging of the existing space.

The great Italian museography and the interpretation of a given space: Italian history as tangible expression of the stratification of human actions.

The urban context as a palimpsest.Many important Italian museums are the result of a rereading and reinterpretation of the existing architectural structures. In this sense, Italian museographic culture is bearer of experiences that present extremely alive implementation methods, today when the issues of consumption (of soil, of materials, of resources in the broadest sense) are at all levels, part of the decision-making processes.
-Presentation of some past and new, but always up to date, representatives of the Italian museographers of international fame:
° Carlo Scarpa: the Venice Academy galleries; the Possagno Canova's gipsoteca; the Castelvecchio museum; the Abatellis Palace.
° Franco Albini: Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Rosso in Genoa; The San Lorenzo treasure in Genoa; the Eremitani Museum in Padua.
° Guido Canali: the Pilotta Museum in Parma; the museum of S. Maria della Scala in Siena; the Milan Cathedral Museum.


4 The museum today: between conservation and storytelling.

The teaching issues and the use of technological devices.

Between immersive reality and physical contact with the works.

The importance of space as a place of encounter between cultural object and visitor.

How to explain while involving the visitors: the experiences of the CNR and of the prof. Antinucci (the statues and epigraphs of the Roman National Museum).

5 Setting up a museum / setting up an exhibition:
Degree of permanence and expressiveness of the fitting devices.

 The exhibition can search for more experimental formulas and expressive research, given its duration generally limited in time.

It can also propose a particular interpretative approach that makes the message more engaging by forcing its perspective;

the resulting  reduced risks precisely because they refer to a period of time that we know is short.
A museum exhibit, on the other hand, has a greater degree of permanency and must be more careful and rigorous in presenting cultural materials;

it must have greater communicative neutrality, without neglecting the seductive and fascination capacity that must always be part of the physical experience of the visit.
Museographic devices as components that equip the museum space;
the display devices as components that interpret the exhibition space




6 Some design and implementation experiences.

Among the "high level" museums (the Rieti Art Gallery and archaeological site) and the museums NON museums (S. Giovanni di Roma metro station - line C) passing through the Itri (Demonetno-anthropological) Museum of Brigage and the Ripi Energy Museum (educational) /scientific).
Narration of the thing and how the designs were carried out; from conception to implementation.