My son and I had the opportunity to visit the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County a couple of weeks ago and the vision of the new director [“Breaking Out of the Diorama,” Oct. 31] is quite evident.
For instance, there are a couple of life-size dinosaur skeletons locked in a battle pose in the rotunda just inside the entrance. They have been there for years and have always elicited awed stares from visitors. There used to be lots of information on the adjacent walls describing these beasts, when they lived and what the world was like then. That is all gone. There is only a plaque thanking someone for their donation. And while I was impressed and amazed by the sensory experience of “L. A.: Light/Motion/Dreams,” I could not help but think that it is in the wrong institution. There is zero scientific content. It is my understanding that the museum was first established to house and study the fossils coming out of the La Brea Tar Pits and that scientific research has always been a primary focus. The 33 million objects to which you refer are not just stuff from our county’s attic. They are irreplaceable and invaluable specimens with unique stories to tell about the natural world and our cultural history.
I get it that the museum needed to do a better job of bringing people in, but did it really need to dump the science to do it?