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In twelve essays on such diverse Smithsonian Institution holdings as the Hope Diamond, the Wright Flyer, wooden Zuni carvings, and the Greensboro, North Carolina Woolworth lunch counter that became a symbol of the Civil Rights movement, Exhibiting Dilemmas explores a wide range of social, political, and ethical questions faced by museum curators in their roles as custodians of culture.
Focusing on the challenges posed by the transformation of exhibitions from object-driven “cabinets of curiosities” to idea-driven sources of education and entertainment, the contributors—all Smithsonian staff members—provide a lively and sometimes provocative discussion of the increasingly complex enterprise of acquiring and displaying objects in a museum setting.
|2||For Museum Audiences: The Morning of a New Day?||28|
|3||The Hope Diamond: Gem, Jewel, and Icon||47|
|4||Herbert Ward's "Ethnographic Sculptures" of Africans||70|
|5||Capable of Flight: The Saga of the 1903 Wright Airplane||92|
|6||Crystal Skulls and Other Problems: Or, "Don't Look It in the Eye"||116|
|7||Curating the Recent Past: The Woolworth Lunch Counter, Greensboro, North Carolina||143|
|8||The Unstifled Muse: The "All in the Family" Exhibit and Popular Culture at the National Museum of American History||156|
|9||Zuni Archangels and Ahayu:da: A Sculpted Chronicle of Power and Identity||176|
|10||Ambassadors in Sealskins: Exhibiting Eskimos at the Smithsonian||206|
|11||Curators as Agents of Change: An Insect Zoo for the Nineties||246|
|12||And Now for Something Completely Different: Reconstructing Duke Ellington's Beggar's Holiday for Presentation in a Museum Setting||262|