Museum Culture: Histories, Discourses, Spectacles

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Museums display much more than artifacts; Museum Culture makes us on a tour through the complex of ideas, values and symbols that pervade and shape the practice of exhibiting today. Bringing together a broad range of perspectives from history, art history, critical theory and sociology, the contributors to this new collection argue that museums have become a central institution and metaphor in contemporary society.
Discussing exhibition histories and practice in Western Europe, ...

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Overview

Museums display much more than artifacts; Museum Culture makes us on a tour through the complex of ideas, values and symbols that pervade and shape the practice of exhibiting today. Bringing together a broad range of perspectives from history, art history, critical theory and sociology, the contributors to this new collection argue that museums have become a central institution and metaphor in contemporary society.
Discussing exhibition histories and practice in Western Europe, the former Soviet Union, Israel and the United States, the authors explore the ways in which museums assign meaning to art through various kinds of exhibitions and display strategies, examining the political implications of these strategies and the forms of knowledge they invoke and construct. The collection also discusses alternative exhibition forms, the involvement of some museums with the more spectacular practices of mass media culture, and looks at how museums construct their public.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816619535
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1994
  • Series: Media and Society Series
  • Pages: 301
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Frameworks for Critical Analysis
1 The German Art Museum and the History of the Nation 3
2 The Whitechapel Picture Exhibitions and the Politics of Seeing 22
3 "An Elite Experience for Everyone": Art Museums, the Public, and Cultural Literacy 49
4 Identity as Self-Discovery: The Ecomuseum in France 66
5 With Open Doors: Museums and Historical Narratives in Israel's Public Space 85
6 The Museum as Metaphor in Nineteenth-Century France 113
7 Quatremere/Benjamin/Marx: Art Museums, Aura, and Commodity Fetishism 123
8 The Struggle against the Museum; or, The Display of Art in Totalitarian Space 144
9 "Degenerate Art" and Documenta I: Modernism Ostracized and Disarmed 163
10 The Times and Spaces of History: Representation, Assyria, and the British Museum 197
11 From Ruins to Debris: The Feminization of Fascism in German-History Museums 223
12 A New Center: The National Museum of Women in the Arts 250
13 Selling Nations: International Exhibitions and Cultural Diplomacy 265
Contributors 283
Index 287
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