Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



This thesis will focus on three museums: the American Museum of Natural History in New York, New York, the Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, Alabama and the Morikami Museum in Del Ray Beach, Florida. Overall the museums took surprisingly different approaches to designing their exhibits. The American Museum of Natural History gave a general overview of Japan and China. The Mobile Museum of Art focused only on pottery and the Morikami Museum focused on the Japanese immigrants that settled in Del Ray Beach. Differences and similarities of these museums and what these exhibits tell the viewer about the two cultures will be addressed in this thesis. It will present a view on what these museums could have done differently to better explain the uniqueness of Japan and China. The American Museum of Natural History and the Mobile Museum of Art presented Japan and China as static and unchanging cultures; this is far from the truth. On the other hand, the Morikami Museum showed how the Japanese immigrant community is a rich community that has changed over time. The Morikami Museum created a unique exhibit that immersed the viewer into the Japanese culture and really showed what meaning the artifacts held in the culture, which is something the other museums failed to do.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Miles E. Richardson