As a civilisation, thankfully we are becoming more aware of the cultural heritage that can be found in the most mundane of objects. This is particularly important in our throwaway society. For example, consider the once common vinyl record or even the CD; these are now virtually antiques to anyone under 20 years of age. The graphics and packaging of 1960’s and 1970’s consumer products seem alien to a contemporary audience and nothing dates more quickly than fashion … except 1980’s technology. The temptation is to discard the outmoded in favour of the most recent. You get the idea.
That’s why institutions such as the Ettore Guatelli Museum in Parma, Italy are so important. This is an archive of the detritus of the everyday lives of the men and women who lived and worked on a farming estate as collected and curated by Mr Guatelli himself. The 60,000 artefacts were gathered over the course of a lifetime and comprise of toys, tools, kitchen ware, clothing and musical instruments.
Now run by a foundation, the museum contains a comprehensive time capsule of material collected over a single generation. Fascinating stuff.