The late city council member Wing Luke (1925-1965) knew much less about branding than today's cultural institutions.
Hey, let's meet at The Wing tonight! Haven't


Should the City's Other Museums Take a Tip From the Wing Luke and Give Themselves New Nicknames?

The late city council member Wing Luke (1925-1965) knew much less about branding than today's cultural institutions.
Hey, let's meet at The Wing tonight! Haven't heard of the place? Some new Belltown cocktail bar or small-plates eatery, you ask? No, it's the new, self-designated nickname for the Wing Luke Asian Museum--it's cool, it's catchy, it's The Wing!

The new, shorter nickname coincides with a new, longer real name, also announced this week: Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. Said the museum:

"Establishing The Wing as a nickname enables the organization to benefit from a quicker name to say. At the same time, the full name reinforces what The Wing experience is all about and expands what the word Asian is meant to encompass in the museum's name."

Okay then. Bigger and more expansive we get: There's nothing bigger than the Pacific Ocean. And putting in the word "experience" is key, because haven't we all had experiences that are, somehow, Asian? Did you like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? So did I, so let's meet at The Wing!

But why stop there? Maybe our other local museums should also consider shifting their mission and adopting hipper new nicknames. We know just where to begin....

Seattle Art Museum Booring! Only art? And isn't the very word "museum" kind of a buzz kill?

New Name: Seattle Active Media & Mixers A place where successful urbanites meet and mingle among the art, cocktails in hand, with live DJ, while the Calders whirl overhead. It'll be all Remix, all the time.

New Nickname Sammy!

Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame Here is a case where reducing the mission and verbiage would be a good idea. We appreciate Paul Allen's range of pop-culture enthusiasms, but being a project and a museum and a hall is too much.

The Mono Hole Really, how many other museums--or Frank Gehry buildings--are pierced by obsolete monorails? Not many. Only one, in fact.

The Hole Just add a midnight Laser Scorpions show. German tourists will love it.

The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture Again, too many words. And too academic.

The T-Rex Museum Schoolchildren on forced field trips are the main clientele here, so give them what they want: dinosaur bones, big fossilized teeth, and fanciful animated movies of those beasts chasing terrified cavemen.

The T Suggested T-shirt slogan for the gift shop: "I got munched at The T."

The Museum of Flight This vanity museum was established by Boeing, a company not even headquartered here anymore. And, worse, in a location so noisy and out of the way that few venture to visit.

Museum of War Transportation is fine, but we need the History Channel demographic to buy tickets here. More military hardware and a shooting range.

The Kill Zone

Museum of History & Industry The unloved Montlake institution will soon move to a drafty old concrete armory on South Lake Union. Perfect time for a redo.

The Ineffability Project The museum will be purely conceptual--a non-museum that celebrates history and industry by removing their traces. The entire armory is deconstructed to nothingness so that we can commemorate a memory we want to forget. The only presence is absence. Get it?

TIP As in: "Did you see what's not on view this month at TIP?" Add a lawn, benches, and children's wading pool. Everybody's happy.

Seattle Asian Art Museum The problem here is that The Wing is encroaching on SAAM's turf. The old building is too small to show most of its collection. It's a little dowdy, especially compared to Sammy! (above), where its holdings could be better seen by more visitors.

Seattle Gay & Lesbian Museum It's already on Capitol Hill. It's badly in need of a makeover. It could be fabulous!

Lion's Gate Now serving mimosas during Sunday morning visits to the inaugural Judy Garland show.

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