Louis Schalk

The Museum of Reaccession
Posted on: September 28, 2011

THE MUSEUM OF REACCESSION, collects, maintains and exhibits artifacts that were previously part of small museum collections. Inspired by 19th century American cabinets of curiosity, the museum celebrates the complexity of collections and collection practices present at small museums throughout New Mexico.

Housed in an antique map case, the current collection represents small museums in central and southern New Mexico. Highlights from the present collection include a snake stick from the American International Rattlesnake Museum (Albuquerque), paper clips from an over 10,000 count collection at the Claunch Bean Elevator Museum (Claunch), and an Oahspe Bible from the Shalam Colony and Oahspe Museum (Las Cruces).

As a work of art, THE MUSEUM OF REACCESSION is also collected. It is presently stored at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, and will move to future venues as it expands and grows.

The project impacts community by connecting small museums in the historically and culturally dynamic state of New Mexico. It then re-presents the small museum to new audiences through public display in larger museums and art galleries. This encourages viewers to seek out individual small museum collections, while inspiring interest in the act of collecting.

The grant money would fund the purchase of a new wing of the museum (20%), support acquisition of new artifacts from northern New Mexico (50%), assist in securing a future display space in northern New Mexico (10%) and help to make the collection more accessible on-line (20%).

Acquisitions and collections management in northern New Mexico is slated for late winter 2011/early spring 2012, followed by exhibition in summer 2012. Final web up-dating will be completed by the of 2012.

The project acknowledges the rich fabric of our material world and the role we play as purveyors of culture. It piques curiosity. The project establishes connections across time, space, and community while showcasing both how and what we collect.