The Cincinnati Art Museum has discovered 800 antique musical instruments in its basement. How wonderful.
Some are more than 400 years old. They have been lying there unnoticed for decades.
How on earth?
Museum director Aaron Betsky said there wasn’t enough room for them on the main floor. There had been plans to expand, but the money ran out and the museum laid off staff and everyone forgot about the instruments.
That, for me, is irresponsible curatorship. How can a museum lose a prize collection? Surely there must be an inventory or catalogue that someone scans from time to time. And if the museum is short of cash, shouldn’t be thinking of selling assets, like its historic instrument collection.
It’s a shocking story that needs a lot more scrutiny than it is getting.
Here are some of the objects.