Abstract

When putting an olfactory reconstruction on display in a museum, curators, conservators, and scholars face many challenges. Three aspects should be taken into account: the perceived object (the replicated scent), the perceiving subject (associations and hedonic value then and now), and the physical and infrastructural circumstances (function and context then and now). Two examples will demonstrate the opportunities and risks professionals encounter when putting scents on display in an ocularcentric, deodorized institution. The first case study deals with ancient perfumes of which residual material was found in a perfume factory dating back to 2000 B.C. The second one deals with The Beanery: a multisensory artwork by Edward Kienholz in the collection of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1934-6026
Print ISSN
1549-9715
Pages
pp. 33-42
Launched on MUSE
2017-05-16
Open Access
No
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