Orphaned Souvenirs

Souvenir Adoption Stand

A souvenir adoption stand was set up for the duration of the Tourlandia Inquiry Center installation opening on March 23, 2012. Visitors were invited to adopt an orphaned souvenir in exchange for filling out an adoption form.

Total: 55 souvenir adoptions

Visitor travels Selection basis
Have you been to the
place represented?
visual & formal qualities utility place/subject depicted unspecified
37   No 18 6 10 3
18   Yes 6 0 12 0

Visitors were surprised that they were allowed to take objects home and gave a variety of responses. As expected, beauty and novelty are common qualities that draw people to objects. People selected objects that remind them of places they have been or of people they know who have been to the place represented by the souvenir. Since most souvenirs are decorative objects, utility was mentioned only by smokers, who could always use another ashtray. Responses also show that some people made associative visual connections between cultural motifs that appear to be similar. Classic souvenir object types such as the flattened penny, plates, and objects with animal motifs were collected categorically.

Selected Objects Adopted by Visitors & Written Responses