Download A Companion to Museum Studies by Sharon Macdonald PDF

By Sharon Macdonald

A spouse to Museum stories captures a clean, multidisciplinary method of the research of the advance, roles, and importance of museums in modern society. the quantity collects authoritative unique essays by means of prime figures from a number disciplines and theoretical stances-anthropology, paintings background, historical past, literature, sociology, cultural reviews, and museum stories proper.The booklet examines the complexity of the museum from cultural, political governance, curatorial, old and representational views. From conventional matters, together with house, demonstrate, constructions, and accumulating, to extra modern demanding situations and matters, resembling vacationing, trade, group and experimental exhibition types, this better half proves itself an critical reference for artwork historians, museum curators, and paintings and tradition fanatics.

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1996: 5) As Macdonald rightly points out, an analysis that is directed purely at the finished text does not necessarily exhaust all possible accounts of production. For example, shortcomings within displays may be linked to lack of funding and time, or to practical constraints regarding access, health and safety, and conservation. It is worth remembering that the process of developing a new gallery from conception to completion can be very protracted, during which time ideas, demands, policies, resources, and possibilities will often shift repeatedly so that the end result will be a palimpsest of the whole process.

An explicit example of the use of Foucault’s ideas in museum studies is Eilean Hooper-Greenhill’s Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge (1992), which maps Foucault’s concepts of the Renaissance, the Classical, and the Modern epistemes onto specific shifts in conceptions of knowledge and the changes these shifts engendered within museum collecting. For example, Hooper-Greenhill argues that sixteenthcentury collections – so-called “cabinets of curiosity” – were structured around the principles of rarity and novelty, whereas the seventeenth century witnessed moves toward organizing collections along more taxonomic lines.

1991: 25). Although unsettling to curators, these theoretical concerns do again link very closely to the practical issues with which museums are concerned in terms of improving communication with visitors and overcoming barriers to access. Indeed, it could be argued that critical and cultural theory has helped to foreground the complexity of possible responses to museums because of its emphasis on the multiple and negotiated nature of meanings and texts. The museum-as-text approach is not without its weaknesses.

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