This is not so much a museum of itself, but more of a general idea. I wouldn’t be surprised that it’s been done, but if it has I think it could be more widespread because I’ve never heard of it.
I would like to see the lighting on artworks and exhibits change. Instead of the usual intense white lights on objects and art, new temporary lights would be set up which would change slowly over the course of an evening. For one, it would make the museum (any museum) more interesting. Second, literally putting the subject matter in a new light would almost certainly figuratively put it in a new light.
Who’s to say the usually white light museum is the “right” way to light a work? Do the artists really work in a museum-level lighted studio? Maybe some of them, but it seems unlikely that even the majority would. Maybe new lighting could get closer to the artist’s literal vision when they made the work. (And, as a side note, what is the value to the art of the atmosphere of the studio? Certainly that influences the artist’s vision. What about the temperature? Or the ambient sounds and voices? Or the height at which the art sat as it was being created?)
No doubt there’s loads of books written on this subject. My point is not to calculate the value of the creational context on the artwork. I just want the museum to change the lights on artwork and exhibits because I think people will pay more attention to the work. (Schticky? Yeah, probably. But the goal of a museum – ostensibly – is art appreciation and understanding or something along those lines. Not adherence to pretense).
I think it would be enough to just change the lights. Different levels of lumens but also different colors. Not party lights, where the lights are moving quickly and become the focus of the experience. Just an occasional shift of light every few minutes so you can take it in a bit differently.
Think about daylight. The same scene at noon is different than at sunrise. Way different. It’s also way different under moonlight. It’s the same place but different things are revealed and hidden and you get to appreciate the same landscape in various ways. I don’t think it always needs to be high noon in the museum.
It could be an entire business where a company specializes in temporary light exhibits for museums. Instead of the usual parties and events where the art plays more of a backdrop, the focus of this event is the art. So even if patrons have seen all the works before, they will be curious to see it in this new light. I won’t deny the novelty of this idea, either. You’re going to get a lot of people interested in an event like this just because it’s colored lights in a unique space.
Some possible taglines: See the (museum) in a different light; #yesfilter.