Private collections of museum curators

Anita F. Cholewa chole001 at UMN.EDU
Sun Sep 29 21:21:51 CDT 2002

In response to Jerry Bricker ...
Actually, discouraging or actually prohibiting staff from collecting is
something that is brought up in various discussions of ethics for museum
professionals.  I believe it originated with art or human artifact museums
as a means of preventing competition for pieces on the open market and to
prevent "insider trading" when estates were going to release items.  Further
I believe if I dig in the literature I can come up with examples were this
very sort of thing (competition for specimens/artifacts) has happened and
the item went into the private collection and unavailable for public use.
I have never seen any discussion of preventing or prohibiting staff from
listening to "devil's music", drinking alcohol, or any of the other
activities Jerry brought up for their private lives.  Ridiculous.


Anita F. Cholewa, Ph.D.
Curator of Plants
Bell Museum of Natural History
University of Minnesota
St Paul MN 55108 USA

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