A Companion to Museum Studies by Sharon Macdonald

By Sharon Macdonald

A better half to Museum reviews captures a clean, multidisciplinary method of the examine of the advance, roles, and value of museums in modern society. the quantity collects authoritative unique essays via top figures from a number disciplines and theoretical stances-anthropology, paintings historical past, heritage, literature, sociology, cultural stories, and museum stories proper.The ebook examines the complexity of the museum from cultural, political governance, curatorial, ancient and representational views. From conventional matters, together with area, reveal, constructions, and gathering, to extra modern demanding situations and matters, equivalent to traveling, trade, group and experimental exhibition types, this significant other proves itself an quintessential reference for artwork historians, museum curators, and paintings and tradition enthusiasts.

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Museums and their relatives (such as the world fairs discussed in chapter 9) are among the most publicly visible performances of the classifications produced. The second characteristic of the disciplines and bodies of theory discussed in Part I is that they have been particularly influential in driving change in museum studies and in museums. This is especially the case for the set of critical perspectives that can collectively be called “cultural theory” which Rhiannon Mason outlines in chapter 2.

As is argued in many chapters in this Companion, there has been a shift, underway for quite some time now though still only patchily achieved, toward understanding the public as diverse, plural, and active, rather than as a relatively homogeneous and rather passive mass (see, for example, chapters 2, 8, and 19). This is evident not only in styles of research, which have increasingly involved methods that allow variations and ways of seeing beyond pre-defined research frames to come to light, but also in the approaches of some museums themselves (for example, chapters 16 and 20).

1989) The New Museology. London: Reaktion Books. 12 PART ONE Perspectives, Disciplines, Concepts Introduction Many disciplines have important perspectives to bring to bear on the museum. Those represented in Part I are not intended to constitute an exclusive set. Elsewhere in this Companion, further disciplinary perspectives are specifically addressed: in particular, that of education in Part IV and that of cultural economics in Part V. Moreover, chapters dealing with particular topics or aspects of museums also draw on disciplines, such as law and psychology, additional to those included in Part I; and many chapters employ a wide range of analytical perspectives that originally derive from various disciplinary homes.

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