Review of the Museum of Chinese in the Americas

I just found the wonderful open access journal Museum Anthropology Review. There are a few reviews available there that will be of interest to Frog readers.

See for example this review of the Museum of Chinese in the Americas.

It looks like the museum raises some interesting questions about the material objects on display, for example:

As you begin a clockwise tour of the room, the introduction on the wall asks, “When Does an Object Become an Artifact?,” beginning a passage that is unfortunately obscured by the very artifacts that it goes on to describe. For those who succeed in reading between the legs of a wooden stool, however, a series of questions challenge their understanding of everyday objects: “Why are certain objects selected and labeled as meaningful? What do the objects say about their owners, their abandoners, their salvagers? Do they merely fulfill a useful function or do they also contain our longings, our identities, our imagination?” These rhetorical questions linger in viewers’ minds as they begin their round.


  1. Out of hometown loyalty I would suggest that the Chinese-American Museum of Chicago is also well worth a visit either in person or at their website, which is full of useful information. The topics range from chop suey and Chinese-American restaurants (see under Food) to “the first Chinese in North America?” (see under Research 1) to “white prostitution in Eastern Chinatowns” (see under Research 2).

    The Research sections are maintained by Ben Bronson, a distinguished curator at the Field Museum, and Chui-mei Ho, also a well trained scholar.

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