In an age of streaming TV and social media, it is short term sensationalism that captures peoples attention, while old-school sources of wonder such as museums and art galleries are left behind.
Britain has some world class museums and art galleries. Unfortunately for the majority of the population, they are mostly in London. A huge volume of artefacts and artworks are not even on display in the museums and galleries because there is not capacity. They therefore languish in the store rooms. They do not benefit the museums/galleries, the public, the artefacts/pictures or their rich tapestry of background stories.
Engagement with museums outside of London (perhaps better to say, outside this small elite number of institutions) is muted. Localised displays that remained relatively unchanged with the passing of time, mean there is little engagement with them from the local community other than mother/baby coffee mornings and some school trips. This is a tragic waste of what could and should be a wonderful framework for excitement and learning.
Solution… national programme of participating larger London institutions and smaller local ones, whereby annually (quarterly???) each of the smaller museums/galleries (those than can offer sufficient security) receives a small but absolutely world class display from the backrooms of the National museums/galleries.
Engage the local media and schools to whip up anticipation and engagements, telling the backstories, context and the thrill that might have existed about these items when they were first commissioned or made.
Bring the public back to local town/city museums before they disappear into obscurity.