DISCUSSION AND CORRESPONDENCE.
THE FUNCTIONS OF A MUSEUM AND OF ITS DIRECTOR.
To the Editor:—Professor E. Ray Lankester, director of the Museum of Natural History, London, concluded an address on 'The Scope and Functions of Museums' at the opening of a new wing of the Ipswich Museum on November 8 with the following words:
If a local museum is a place no better for school teaching than Madame Tussaud's 'chamber of horrors,' or if it only serves for the cramming of school-boys, so much the worse for the museum and its director. Neither has Professor Lankester a very high opinion of adult visitors, for in the same address he calls them 'innocent' and 'casual well-meaning.' Such sarcasm and assumption of superiority ill befits the director of a museum.
Surely a man who accepts a position such as the directorship of the British Museum of Natural History or the secretaryship of the Smithsonian Institution owes a definite duty to the public, and should not permit his impressions of his own dignity to interfere with the services for which he is paid.
Can you not, sir, secure for your excellent journal an article on 'The Scope and Functions of a Museum Director'?