Mexico City’s Museo Nacional de Antropología gets kudos from just about every corner. Every person I have ever spoken to about Mexico City puts it way up on their list of things to see. And they do have an amazing collection of items. Their Maya collection in particular is incredible. The experience of being confronted with the quality and art of the physical artifacts leaves one mouth agape at many points. There is far too much in this museum to be able to explore in one day, so I didn’t even try. After about 3 and a half hours, I left well enough alone for another day. It was a great experience. And yet… I do have a few complaints about the exhibits:
– At many points the artifacts are seriously lacking any specifics about where they came from. They are all grouped together in the same room with a giant label like “Pre-Classic Period 2800BC to 100AC”. In addition, they often have no label at all to identify them.
– Often it is not obvious which items are real and which are reproductions.
– Between exhibits, quality varies a lot. The Maya exhibit seemed the best by far to me.
– For a museum that strives to be international, the English translations are pretty lame and minimal.
– Clear time lines and relationships between cultures are thin. Greater emphasis on these would be a huge benefit. Graphics representing these would be most welcome.
Hm. Maybe I should become a museum curator or exhibit designer?