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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Warehouse 13 as a Museum #6: The Best Gift

Hi all. Long time no see.

A lot of this has been happening in the past few months, leading to some pretty crazy schedules.

The good thing is that I got a lot of me time, but not a lot of museum time!

I actually wanted to write about this thing, though:

What is it? Why, it’s only the best gift!

It seems silly that a tv show prop replica/keychain would mean so much to somebody. It’s a simple thing, metal, made from a mold. It’s a bit hefty, heavier than my rodents, and has sharp sides. Its tv show story is unusual, as it is the cause of both joy and pain.

The keychain is based on an artifact from Warehouse 13 (of course). Although they never fully explain the origins, the medal depicts a Phoenix. The Phoenix saves those who hold/touch it if they are killed by fire, but kills another person off instead. It is the crux of the main plot of the first season: it the reason why they have a villain (he used it to help himself, causing a rift between him and Artie), and it is how one of the characters (my favorite) is saved.

I don’t just love it for that, or the fact that my little sister gave it to me. I love it because it represents something to me: the wonder and magic that was instilled in me through Warehouse 13 that I find whenever I look at an object in a museum. Everywhere I look, I see a story — maybe not just the background of that object, but what it could do if we let it.

That’s the risk we face in museums — how do we balance our fragile artifacts, art, history, and science, with the human need for story? How do we show, inspire, and instill values but at the same time use our collections that only hint at a world we once knew as a culture, but have never met as individuals?

It seems silly that a little keychain based on a television prop is a reminder for me, but it is. I hold it, and remember its story, and remind myself that everything I see has a story.

Isn’t that the greatest gift of all?

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