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How Not to Review a Museum

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If the Times really wants to alienate everyone who doesn’t identify as an east coast sophisticate, Edward Rothstein provides a good starting point:

An East Coast visitor’s first reaction, provincially enough, has to be skepticism: does Colorado even have that much history?

Enough history to justify a $110 million museum — the History Colorado Center — which is opening on Saturday, with plans for 40,000 square feet of exhibitions costing an additional $33 million, state-of-the-art technological displays, a research center and archival storage for over 15 million items, including more than 750,000 photographs and 200,000 artifacts?

The state is under 140 years old, and even if you include the ancient cliff dwellings preserved in Mesa Verde National Park, there is little documented history before the incursion of outsiders in the 18th century.

Yet this building, designed by the Colorado architect David Tryba of Tryba Architects, is meant to be as monumental as the museum’s ambition.

And then ends:

But in the meantime, put aside provincialism. Colorado clearly has enough history to justify such a center. And enough history to make a visitor wish that the exploration were more complete and less ready to offer revision without real reinterpretation.

Well, thank you Mr. East Coast Elite for giving your seal of approval that a state like Colorado has History! As a native of Oregon, will you please fly out to Portland and tell us whether we have enough history so I can know whether to write my book or not?

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