By Sharon Macdonald

ISBN-10: 1405108398

ISBN-13: 9781405108393

A significant other to Museum stories captures a clean, multidisciplinary method of the research of the improvement, roles, and importance of museums in modern society. the amount collects authoritative unique essays by means of major figures from a number disciplines and theoretical stances-anthropology, artwork background, background, literature, sociology, cultural experiences, and museum reviews proper.The e-book examines the complexity of the museum from cultural, political governance, curatorial, old and representational views. From conventional matters, together with area, exhibit, structures, and gathering, to extra modern demanding situations and issues, comparable to vacationing, trade, group and experimental exhibition kinds, this spouse proves itself an critical reference for paintings historians, museum curators, and paintings and tradition fanatics.

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An alternative model of how museums function within society can be found in James Clifford’s idea of the museum as “contact zone” (1997: 188–219). Clifford borrows the term from Mary Louise Pratt (1992) to emphasize the interactive nature of the relationships between various communities, stakeholders, and museums. As “contact zone,” the museum functions more as a permeable space of transcultural encounter than as a tightly bounded institution disseminating knowledge to its visitors. Clifford recasts the museum as a space where different cultures and communities intersect, interact, and are mutually influenced by the encounter.

In particular, she addresses questions of identity and difference, matters vital to museums and to many other chapters in this Companion. Gordon Fyfe (chapter 3) extends this further into the social work of museums. ” Questions of identity, difference, space, and power are also central to Anthony Shelton’s discussion of anthropology and ethnographic museums (chapter 5). As well as showing the interplay between the academy and the museum, and the ways in which this has been variously played out at different times, Shelton highlights, among other things, what can be at issue in definitions of value or deployment of “art” as a classification.

For Vergo, new museology meant a “state of widespread dissatisfaction with 22 Cultural Theory and Museum Studies the ‘old’ museology, both within and outside the museum profession . . what is wrong with the ‘old’ museology is that it is too much about museum methods, and too little about the purposes of museums . ” (1989: 3; and see the Introduction to this volume). As with all such theoretical movements, “new museology” has itself been interpreted differently. Dutch scholar Peter Van Mensch argues that there have been three different applications of the term: in the US (1950s), the UK (late 1980s), and France (1980) (cited in Davis 1999: 54).

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A Companion to Museum Studies by Sharon Macdonald


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