|Pretty Little Liars - books gone Hollywood|
|Trompe l'oeil ceilings of Victoria Mansion (J. Clark)|
By the way, if you're curious, Maine boasts some precious examples of tromp l'oeil, such as the ceilings of the stunning Victoria Mansion in Portland (see left).
|Warner Bros. Property Department Storage|
As soon as I crossed the threshold, the cultural-historian-geek took over.
Enormous rooms stretched before us, filled with shelving that any museum would envy for its collections storage. Telephones and lamps neatly occupied their assigned spaces. I undoubtedly embarrassed my teenage daughter more than I already had that day when I snapped photo after photo of the collections whose items spanned more than a century. As Max pointed out, once you repaint a room on a set, all you need to do is swap out its "accessories" a 19th century room becomes a mid 20th century one. That's what props do, right? But, wait, were they "just props"?
As Max led us further into the Property Department, massive furniture, paintings, and statues crowded the hallways - looking like antique furniture worthy of any museum collection (with the exception of the vampire paintings).
"Max? Is this stuff real?"
|Max points out bar code object registration|
"So how can you tell what's authentic and what's fake?" I asked him.
Max pointed at what looked like an Egyptian stone carving, lifted it more easily than one could if it were stone, and showed me the bar code registration underneath (above). This bar code linked the item back to its object record which, in this case, would say that this was a fake, I mean, a reproduction.
Some warn that exhibit designers and financial-solvency concerns are "Disneyfying" museums, dragging admittedly staid institutions to incorporate interactive exhibit designs, hands-on reproductions, and touchscreens to compete with other media for the public's attention.
Entertain. Learn. Discover. Museums and Hollywood each have their own domain - no question about it - but the intellectual traffic between them is fast and furious.