The Comfort in Being Sad: Memorial, Museum, and Kurt Cobain
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Museums, monuments, and archives have long been used to memorialize noteworthy individuals and events as well as being repositories of history and culture. These memorializations have typically served to enhance a specific narrative that is endorsed by the institutions that present them, whether as part of national myth building or to show particular aspects of a historic figure. In the 21st century, increasing focus has been placed in day-to-day life on figures from popular culture. To remain relevant to the community a museum must preserve pop culture figures as well as historic or political figures. This paper utilizes the exhibit Nirvana: Taking Punk to the Masses at the EMP Museum in Seattle, WA and its treatment of Kurt Cobain as a case study of pop culture memorialization in the museum by examining its presentation and curatorial intents, particularly its methodologies for preventing the lionization of its central figure.
- Museology