Museums Objects Collec Pa / Edition 1

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Overview

This book examines the historical context of museums, their collections, and the objects that form them. Susan M. Pearce probes the psychological and social reasons that people collect and identifies three modes of collecting: collecting as souvenirs, as fetishes, and as systematic assemblages. She considers how museum professionals set policies of collection management; acquire, study, and exhibit objects; and make meaning of the objects in their care. Pearce also explores the ideological relationship between museums and their collections and the intellectual and social relationships of museums to the public.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Dense and rewarding. Through this study the author intends to explore the philosophies and cultural traditions which underlie museums, their collections, and the objects which make them up, and to see how meaning is created amongst them.”—Arlis-Newssheet

“Profoundly rewarding . . . [Museums, Objects, and Collections] offers one of the most extensive and penetrating analyses of museums you are likely to find anywhere.”—Curator
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560983309
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
  • Publication date: 10/17/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan M. Pearce is professor of museum studies and director of the department of museum studies at the University of Leicester. She is the editor of Museum Studies in Material Culture (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992), and the author of Archaeological Curatorship (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990) and On Collecting (1995).

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Table of Contents

List of plates
List of figures
Preface
1 Museums, Objects and Collections 1
2 Objects Inside and Outside Museums 15
3 Collecting: Body and Soul 36
4 Collecting: Shaping the World 68
5 Museums: the Intellectual Rationale 89
6 Making Museum Meanings 118
7 Meaning as Function 146
8 Meaning as Structure 166
9 Meaning in History 192
10 Objects in Action 210
11 Problems of Power 228
12 Projects and Prospects 256
Appendix: Models for object study 265
Bibliography 274
Index 288
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