A Companion to Museum Studies

A Companion to Museum Studies

Paperback Blackwell Companions in Cultural Studies

Edited by Sharon MacDonald

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  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Format: Paperback | 592 pages
  • Dimensions: 172mm x 242mm x 30mm | 1,120g
  • Publication date: 16 August 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Chicester
  • ISBN 10: 1444334050
  • ISBN 13: 9781444334050
  • Sales rank: 121,329

Product description

A Companion to Museum Studies captures the multidisciplinary approach to the study of the development, roles, and significance of museums in contemporary society. Collects first-rate original essays by leading figures from a range of disciplines and theoretical stances, including anthropology, art history, history, literature, sociology, cultural studies, and museum studies Examines the complexity of the museum from cultural, political, curatorial, historical and representational perspectives Covers traditional subjects, such as space, display, buildings, objects and collecting, and more contemporary challenges such as visiting, commerce, community and experimental exhibition forms

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Author information

Sharon Macdonald is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester. Her books include Theorizing Museums (edited with Gordon Fyfe, Blackwell 1996), Reimagining Culture (1997), The Politics of Display (ed., 1998), Behind the Scenes at the Science Museum (2002), and Exhibition Experiments (edited with Paul Basu, Blackwell 2007).

Review quote

"The collection is not primarily a compendium of the work of ethnographers. The group of scholars Macdonald brought together reflects the current makeup of museum studies as an interdisciplinary endeavor." (Museum Anthropology, April 2009) "Required reading for museum professionals and scholars in museum studies, art and cultural history, sociology of art, and anthropology ... The text is rich in information and diverse in perspectives; it both introduces and complicates in an intriguing and necessary way what we 'know' about museums ... Essential." (Choice) "This is a wonderfully comprehensive collection of essays, offering diverse perspectives, covering all aspects of the museum profession, and addressing contemporary and historical discourse ... It really is the best compendium I've read in years." (Museums Australia)

Back cover copy

"A Companion to Museum Studies" captures a fresh, multi-disciplinary approach to the study of the development, roles, and significance of museums in contemporary society. Expanding museum studies and presenting a wide range of theoretical perspectives, the collection brings together authoritative original essays by leading figures from disciplines including anthropology, art history, history, literature, sociology, and cultural studies, as well as museum studies. The essays examine the complexity of the museum from cultural, political governance, curatorial, historical, and representational perspectives. From traditional subjects, including space, display, buildings, and collecting, to more contemporary challenges and concerns, such as visiting, commerce, community, and experimental exhibition forms, this companion proves itself an indispensable reference for art historians, museum curators, and art and culture lovers.

Table of contents

List of Illustrations ix Notes on Contributors xii Acknowledgments xix Bibliographical Note xx 1 Expanding Museum Studies: An Introduction 1 Sharon Macdonald Part I Perspectives, Disciplines, Concepts 13 Introduction 14 2 Cultural Theory and Museum Studies 17 Rhiannon Mason 3 Sociology and the Social Aspects of Museums 33 Gordon Fyfe 4 Art History and Museology: Rendering the Visible Legible 50 Donald Preziosi 5 Museums and Anthropologies: Practices and Narratives 64 Anthony Alan Shelton 6 Collecting Practices 81 Sharon Macdonald 7 The Conundrum of Ephemerality: Time, Memory, and Museums 98 Susan A. Crane Part II Histories, Heritage, Identities 111 Introduction 112 8 The Origins of the Public Museum 115 Jeffrey Abt 9 World Fairs and Museums 135 Robert W. Rydell 10 Making and Remaking National Identities 152 Flora Edouwaye S. Kaplan 11 Museums and Community 170 Elizabeth Crooke 12 Re-staging Histories and Identities 186 Rosmarie Beier-de Haan 13 Heritage 198 Steven Hoelscher Part III Architecture, Space, Media 219 Introduction 220 14 Museum Architecture: A Brief History 223 Michaela Giebelhausen 15 Insight versus Entertainment: Untimely Meditations on the Architecture of Twentieth-century Art Museums 245 Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani 16 Civic Seeing: Museums and the Organization of Vision 263 Tony Bennett 17 Space Syntax: The Language of Museum Space 282 Bill Hillier and Kali Tzortzi 18 New Media 302 Michelle Henning Part IV Visitors, Learning, Interacting 319 Introduction 320 19 Living in a Learning Society: Museums and Free-choice Learning 323 John H. Falk, Lynn D. Dierking, and Marianna Adams 20 Museum Education 340 George E. Hein 21 Interactivity: Thinking Beyond 353 Andrea Witcomb 22 Studying Visitors 362 Eilean Hooper-Greenhill Part V Globalization, Profession, Practice 377 Introduction 378 23 Globalization: Incorporating the Museum 381 Mark W. Rectanus 24 Cultural Economics 398 Bruno S. Frey and Stephan Meier 25 The Museum Profession 415 Patrick J. Boylan 26 Museum Ethics 431 Tristram Besterman 27 Museum Practice: Legal Issues 442 Patty Gerstenblith 28 Non-Western Models of Museums and Curation in Cross-cultural Perspective 457 Christina Kreps Part VI Culture Wars, Transformations, Futures 473 Introduction 474 29 Incivilities in Civil(-ized) Places: "Culture Wars" in Comparative Perspective 477 Steven C. Dubin 30 Science Museums and the Culture Wars 494 Steven Conn 31 Postmodern Restructurings 509 Nick Prior 32 Exposing the Public 525 Mieke Bal 33 The Future of the Museum 543 Charles Saumarez Smith Index 555