A rare collection of twenty-nine drums from mid-twentieth-century Latin America, Asia, Oceania, and the Middle East acquired from the Dr. Joseph H. Howard Family Collection will be gradually integrated in the galleries, starting with the Haiti display.
The Oceania gallery received an impressive new highlight when towering Vanuatu slit drums were added in 2016. Preparations for installation were an intensive team effort, including careful restoration and mount making work for these gigantic pieces.
Seen through a large viewing window, MIM’s Conservation Lab gives guests a behind-the-scenes glimpse at collection maintenance and preservation.
MIM conserves instruments and music-related artifacts to ensure their structural integrity and preservation for future generations. Conservation work includes careful testing and documentation of various methods for stabilizing, preserving, and restoring objects made of a wide variety of materials including woods, metals, bone, hides, and plastics. This research is significant for the broader field of museum conservation and helps to inform the treatment of ethnographic and anthropological collections in museums around the world.