Museum Philosophy For The Twenty-First Century

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What underlying philosophy and mission should museums pursue in the first half of the twenty-first century? In Museum Philosophy, twenty-four authors use the lenses of a variety of disciplines to answer this essential question. Museum professionals offer their answers alongside philosophers, historians, political scientists, educators, sociologists, and others in a wide-ranging exploration of institutions from art museums to zoos. Hugh Genoway's book offers philosophical and ethical guidelines, describes the ways specific institutions illustrate different philosophies, examines major divisions in the museum community, and explores outreach and engagement between the museum and its larger community. Both established museum professionals and students of museum studies will benefit from this insightful look into the foundations and future of their field.

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Editorial Reviews

Gary Edson
Hugh Genoways has engaged national and international proponents of museological theory and practice to address a range of topics that will benefit museum personnel as they prepare for the challenges and opportunities of the twenty-first century. This is a book that should be read with a keen eye toward the expanding roles and responsibilities of museums in the new millennium.
Peter H. Raven
This volume offers a rich feast of essays about museums of all kinds and from every point of view. In our rapidly changing society, the role of every kind of institution needs reexamination and reevaluation. For those concerned with museums and their future, valuable help will be obtained from the thoughtful and often provocative perspectives offered here. Both theoretical and practical, they should be considered carefully by all those interested in enriching our cultural and scientific future.
Dee Stubbs-Lee
In the interest of stimulating healthy debate, essays were solicited from contributors representing both museum professionals working in a wide variety of museums, as well as scholars who write about museums but work in other disciplines, to provide an outside perspective. Adding a further layer of diversity, authors represent a number of different countries, whose approaches represent a variety of philosophies. I found myself doing a lot of scribbling of musings in the margins as I read — always a sign of a book that provokes gut reactions and stimulates thought... This book would undoubtedly be a useful addition to the library of any museum professional, and a springboard for discussion and debate in any course on contemporary museum practice.
Marjorie Schwarzer
Hugh Genoways has assembled an all-star cast of some of today's most courageous thinkers in the museum world to ponder where our institututions are heading. Taken together, their essays offer a diverse set of opinions, often provocative, always intelligent. This book is essential reading for those of us who care about museums' integrity, promise, and future.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759107533
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2006
  • Pages: 310
  • Product dimensions: 6.72 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Hugh H. Genoways is Professor of Museum Studies and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has co-written Museum Administration with Lynne M. Ireland, published by AltaMira Press in 2003. He is also the editor of Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 1. Assuming Responsibility: Lessons from Aesthetics Chapter 3 2. Mind as Verb Chapter 4 3. The Museum: Where Civilizations Clash or Clash Civilizes? Chapter 5 4. Legal and Ethical Considerations in Museum Acquisitions Chapter 6 5. Connection, Recollection, and Museum Missions Chapter 7 6. Museums and Restlessness Chapter 8 7. Philosophy and the Ends of the Museum Chapter 9 8. The Moral Obligations Incumbent upon Institutions, Administrators, and Directors in Maintaining and Caring for Museum Collections Chapter 10 9. As Long as the Grass Will Grow: My Teaching Philosophy Chapter 11 10. Science Centres: Creating a Platform for Twenty-first Century Innovation Chapter 12 11. Renewing the Social Contract at Berkeley Chapter 13 12. Museums and (In)Justice Chapter 14 13. Open Minds: Inclusive Practice Chapter 15 14. Africal American Museums in the Twenty-first Century Chapter 16 15. Learning by Looking: The Future of Museums Chapter 17 16. A Plea for Silence: Putting Art back into the Art Museum Chapter 18 17. Values, Advocacy, and Science: Toward an Empirical Philosophy for Zoo and Aquarium Leadership Chapter 19 18. Current Trends in Governance and Management of Museums in Europe Chapter 20 19. To Members of the Museum Profession Chapter 21 20. The Power of Museum Pedagogy Chapter 22 21. Defining Our Museum Audience: An Extraordinary Opportunity Chapter 23 22. How Can Museums Attract Visitors in the Twenty-first Century? Chapter 24 23. Community Choices, Museum Concerns Chapter 25 Brief Biographical Sketches of Contributors

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