A core assumption in object-centered learning is that real objects “speak” in ways that

representations of those objects do not. Objects evoke personal reactions as well as a

shared knowledge and history. Furthermore, central to museum lore is the belief that it is

the authenticity and uniqueness of the museum-based object that summons the most

powerful reactions. Questions have been raised as to whether “the locus of authenticity

and meaning resides not in the object but in its mark” (p. 104) or interpretation (Roberts,

1997). Also addressed is the role of the visitor. Different perspectives are likely to be held

by visitors for whom the object might have been part of their cultural tradition or lived

history (e.g., Gurian, 1999). Yet, the core idea that the authenticity of objects is a

characteristic acknowledged by all has not been disputed.