With this display — one of the many excellently-signed ensembles in the Museo Archeologico di Milano — the museum has accomplished two difficult but worthwhile tasks. First of all, it presents Roman costume in a physical yet not actually tangible way. Seeing these reconstructions of ancient clothes is a fun inroad to imagining life in that period, and this is helped by the fact that the clothes are standing before you rather than drawn on paper or a screen. Placing the mannequins in a doorway (or beside it, as in the case of the male figure) atop the mosaic floors sets them away from the reach of visitors, improving their longevity. Which brings us to the second point: the use of figures enlivens the otherwise very flat and space-hogging mosaic floors, as well as drawing attention to the fact that the floors used to be walked on and once formed part of a house. Simple but important points, presented here in a simple but effective way.
Ideas on Display
A humble space to reflect on concepts of museum display as enacted across a wide range of subjects, countries, and approaches.