Natural History Museum of Los Angeles yesterday. I was struck by the strong, but varied, institutional voice in play in their new exhibitions and other areas. The old institutional voice is what you might have expected. Here's a look at the introductory panel to an exhibit about California history (from the '80s from the look of it--and partially closed and perhaps headed towards extinction). Omniscient, one might say even a little boring. You get a sense that this institution might be really good and numbering and filing things.
But vitally, the museum's institutional voice isn't just all all about them. In so many places it makes it clear that we all can participate in the work of observing nature, of analyzing, of finding out new things. Here's a big label about a budding scientist: