As I mentioned in my DDT Week 5 post, I went to the Gluck: Art and Identity exhibition at Brighton Museum last week. I knew nothing about Gluck, and I found it to be an informative exhibition, and I liked the dual focus on art and relationships.
But, I keep thinking about this item on display. It is an envelope, containing, according to the information panel, a 5-page undated letter. The fact that there is that level of specificity on the information panel - especially the final paragraph - shows that somebody has opened the letter and read it. Despite the envelope starting with the words “To be destroyed, burnt, unopened in the event of my death.”
This opening and displaying even a little information about the letter feels invasive to me. It might not have been. For all, I know Gluck might have opened it and decided that it should live on amongst other artefacts. But there is nothing on the information panel that tells me that. It is missing an indication of whether this was done with Gluck’s consent or not. And that left me feeling somewhat unsettled.