Depot Diner…a museum seeks the attention of the curious, and then, without raising expectations too high, invites you in.
It starts with the faux Depot Diner theme lettering on a storefront window…beyond the glass one sees a meter-deep mock restaurant. Romantic-era paintings hang in the faux Victorian creamy yellow field above the chair railing and warm brown wainscoting – a lace portiere to the left hints at something more inside. The framed ‘mirror’-window reflects the street scene just outside in the 1890’s. A seemingly abandoned cafe table and chairs with its unusual table setting, and most curious is the menu with its revealing Prix Fixe offerings.
One might follow the signage around to the footbridge path and enter on the north side of the brick building. Thru a door off the hallway and inside, beyond the ‘front desk’, one discovers a series of galleries offering “an encyclopedic collection of rarities, curios, and antiquities which encourage curiosity about the world”.
The museum’s theme, ‘rational amusement’, aspires to reward and amuse the visitor’s curiosity with something unexpected; making the museum a ‘unique tourist destination’.
Its uniqueness is enhanced by the exhibit documentation, specifically creating a ‘liberal arts’ perspective, and adding a deliberate ‘public educational’ value to the otherwise ‘silent’ objects in the collections – bringing to life the exhibits, with the entire exhibition striving for the combined impact of art and object found in ‘scientific illustration’.