Museums and Community

Author: Elizabeth Crooke
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134305940
Release Date: 2008-03-10
Genre: Art

Combining research that stretches across all of the social sciences and international case studies, Elizabeth Crooke here explores the dynamics of the relationship between the community and the museum. Focusing strongly on areas such as Northern Ireland, South Africa, Australia and North America to highlight the complex issues faced by museums and local groups, Crooke examines one of the museum's primary responsibilities – working with different communities and using collections to encourage people to learn about their own histories, and to understand other people's. Arguing for a much closer examination of this concept of community, and of the significance of museums to different communities, Museums and Community is a dynamic look at a relationship that has, in modern times, never been more important.

Museums Equality and Social Justice

Author: Richard Sandell
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781136318702
Release Date: 2013-05-20
Genre: Social Science

The last two decades have seen concerns for equality, diversity, social justice and human rights move from the margins of museum thinking and practice, to the core. The arguments – both moral and pragmatic – for engaging diverse audiences, creating the conditions for more equitable access to museum resources, and opening up opportunities for participation, now enjoy considerable consensus in many parts of the world. A growing number of institutions are concerned to construct new narratives that represent a plurality of lived experiences, histories and identities which aim to nurture support for more progressive, ethically-informed ways of seeing and to actively inform contemporary public debates on often contested rights-related issues. At the same time it would be misleading to suggest an even and uncontested transition from the museum as an organisation that has been widely understood to marginalise, exclude and oppress to one which is wholly inclusive. Moreover, there are signs that momentum towards making museums more inclusive and equitable is slowing down or, in some contexts, reversing. Museums, Equality and Social Justice aims to reflect on and, crucially, to inform debates in museum research, policy and practice at this critical time. It brings together new research from academics and practitioners and insights from artists, activists, and commentators to explore the ways in which museums, galleries and heritage organisations are engaging with the fast-changing equalities terrain and the shifting politics of identity at global, national and local levels and to investigate their potential to contribute to more equitable, fair and just societies.

Museums in a Troubled World

Author: Robert R. Janes
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134041695
Release Date: 2009-05-12
Genre: Art

Are Museums Irrelevant? Museums are rarely acknowledged in the global discussion of climate change, environmental degradation, the inevitability of depleted fossil fuels, and the myriad local issues concerning the well-being of particular communities – suggesting the irrelevance of museums as social institutions. At the same time, there is a growing preoccupation among museums with the marketplace, and museums, unwittingly or not, are embracing the values of relentless consumption that underlie the planetary difficulties of today. Museums in a Troubled World argues that much more can be expected of museums as publicly supported and knowledge-based institutions. The weight of tradition and a lack of imagination are significant factors in museum inertia and these obstacles are also addressed. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, combining anthropology ethnography, museum studies and management theory, this book goes beyond conventional museum thinking. Robert R. Janes explores the meaning and role of museums as key intellectual and civic resources in a time of profound social and environmental change. This volume is a constructive examination of what is wrong with contemporary museums, written from an insider’s perspective that is grounded in both hope and pragmatism. The book’s conclusions are optimistic and constructive, and highlight the unique contributions that museums can make as social institutions, embedded in their communities, and owned by no one.

Museums and Their Communities

Author: Sheila Watson
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 9780415402590
Release Date: 2007
Genre: Business & Economics

Using case studies drawn from all areas of museum studies, Museums and their Communities explores the museums as a site of representation, identity and memory, and considers how it can influence its community. Focusing on the museum as an institution, and its social and cultural setting, Sheila Watson examines how museums use their roles as informers and educators to empower, or to ignore, communities. Looking at the current debates about the role of the museum, she considers contested values in museum functions and examines provision, power, ownership, responsibility, and institutional issues. This book is of great relevance for all disciplines as it explores and questions the role of the museum in modern society.

Museum as Process

Author: Raymond Silverman
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317661931
Release Date: 2014-09-19
Genre: Social Science

The museum has become a vital strategic space for negotiating ownership of and access to knowledges produced in local settings. Museum as Process presents community-engaged "culture work" of a group of scholars whose collaborative projects consider the social spaces between the museum and community and offer new ways of addressing the challenges of bridging the local and the global. Museum as Process explores a variety of strategies for engaging source communities in the process of translation and the collaborative mediation of cultural knowledges. Scholars from around the world reflect upon their work with specific communities in different parts of the world – Australia, Canada, Ghana, Great Britain, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, South Africa, Taiwan and the United States. Each global case study provides significant insights into what happens to knowledge as it moves back and forth between source communities and global sites, especially the museum. Museum as Process is an important contribution to understanding the relationships between museums and source communities and the flow of cultural knowledge.

Museums in a Troubled World

Author: Robert R. Janes
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134041695
Release Date: 2009-05-12
Genre: Art

Are Museums Irrelevant? Museums are rarely acknowledged in the global discussion of climate change, environmental degradation, the inevitability of depleted fossil fuels, and the myriad local issues concerning the well-being of particular communities – suggesting the irrelevance of museums as social institutions. At the same time, there is a growing preoccupation among museums with the marketplace, and museums, unwittingly or not, are embracing the values of relentless consumption that underlie the planetary difficulties of today. Museums in a Troubled World argues that much more can be expected of museums as publicly supported and knowledge-based institutions. The weight of tradition and a lack of imagination are significant factors in museum inertia and these obstacles are also addressed. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, combining anthropology ethnography, museum studies and management theory, this book goes beyond conventional museum thinking. Robert R. Janes explores the meaning and role of museums as key intellectual and civic resources in a time of profound social and environmental change. This volume is a constructive examination of what is wrong with contemporary museums, written from an insider’s perspective that is grounded in both hope and pragmatism. The book’s conclusions are optimistic and constructive, and highlight the unique contributions that museums can make as social institutions, embedded in their communities, and owned by no one.

Museums and Social Activism

Author: Kylie Message
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134663699
Release Date: 2013-11-07
Genre: Social Science

Museums and Social Activism is the first study to bring together historical accounts of the African American and later American Indian civil rights-related social and reform movements that took place on the Smithsonian Mall through the 1960s and 1970s in Washington DC with the significant but unknown story about museological transformation and curatorial activism that occurred in the Division of Political and Reform History at the National Museum of American History at this time. Based on interdisciplinary field-based research that has brought together cross-cultural and international perspectives from the fields of Museum Studies, Public History, Political Science and Social Movement Studies with empirical investigation, the book explores and analyses museums’ – specifically, curators’ – relationships with political stakeholders past and present. By understanding the transformations of an earlier period, Museums and Social Activism offers provocative perspectives on the cultural and political significance of contemporary museums. It highlights the relevance of past practice and events for museums today and improved ways of understanding the challenges and opportunities that result from the ongoing process of renewal that museums continue to exemplify.

Museums and Migration

Author: Laurence Gourievidis
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317684893
Release Date: 2014-07-25
Genre: Social Science

Recent decades have seen migration history and issues increasingly featured in museums. Museums and Migration explores the ways in which museum spaces - local, regional, national - have engaged with the history of migration, including internal migration, emigration and immigration. It presents the latest innovative research from academics and museum practitioners and offers a comparative perspective on a global scale bringing to light geo- and socio-political specificities. It includes an extensive range of international contributions from Europe, Asia, South America as well as settler societies such as Canada and Australia. Museums and Migration charts and enlarges the developing body of research which concentrates on the analysis of the representation of migration in relation to the changing character of museums within society, examining their civic role and their function as key public arenas within civil society. It also aims to inform debates focusing on the way museums interact with processes of political and societal changes, and examining their agency and relationship to identity construction, community involvement, policy positions and discourses, but also ethics and moralities.

A Companion to Museum Studies

Author: Sharon Macdonald
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9781444357943
Release Date: 2011-08-24
Genre: Business & Economics

A Companion to Museum Studies captures the multidisciplinary approach to the study of the development, roles, and significance of museums in contemporary society. Collects first-rate original essays by leading figures from a range of disciplines and theoretical stances, including anthropology, art history, history, literature, sociology, cultural studies, and museum studies Examines the complexity of the museum from cultural, political, curatorial, historical and representational perspectives Covers traditional subjects, such as space, display, buildings, objects and collecting, and more contemporary challenges such as visiting, commerce, community and experimental exhibition forms

Museums Prejudice and the Reframing of Difference

Author: Richard Sandell
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134209750
Release Date: 2007-01-24
Genre: Social Science

How, if it all, do museums shape the ways in which society understands difference? In recent decades there has been growing international interest amongst practitioners, academics and policy makers in the role that museums might play in confronting prejudice and promoting human rights and cross-cultural understanding. Museums in many parts of the world are increasingly concerned to construct exhibitions which represent, in more equitable ways, the culturally pluralist societies within which they operate, accommodating and engaging with differences on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, class, religion, disability, sexuality and so on. Despite the ubiquity of these trends, there is nevertheless limited understanding of the social effects, and attendant political consequences, of these purposive representational strategies. Richard Sandell combines interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives with in-depth empirical investigation to address a number of timely questions. How do audiences engage with and respond to exhibitions designed to contest, subvert and reconfigure prejudiced conceptions of social groups? To what extent can museums be understood to shape, not simply reflect, normative understandings of difference, acceptability and tolerance? What are the challenges for museums which attempt to engage audiences in debating morally charged and contested contemporary social issues and how might these be addressed? Sandell argues that museums frame, inform and enable the conversations which audiences and society more broadly have about difference and highlights the moral and political challenges, opportunities and responsibilities which accompany these constitutive qualities.

Re Presenting Disability

Author: Richard Sandell
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781136616488
Release Date: 2013-09-13
Genre: Business & Economics

Re-Presenting Disability addresses issues surrounding disability representation in museums and galleries, a topic which is receiving much academic attention and is becoming an increasingly pressing issue for practitioners working in wide-ranging museums and related cultural organisations. This volume of provocative and timely contributions, brings together twenty researchers, practitioners and academics from different disciplinary, institutional and cultural contexts to explore issues surrounding the cultural representation of disabled people and, more particularly, the inclusion (as well as the marked absence) of disability-related narratives in museum and gallery displays. The diverse perspectives featured in the book offer fresh ways of interrogating and understanding contemporary representational practices as well as illuminating existing, related debates concerning identity politics, social agency and organisational purposes and responsibilities, which have considerable currency within museums and museum studies. Re-Presenting Disability explores such issues as: In what ways have disabled people and disability-related topics historically been represented in the collections and displays of museums and galleries? How can newly emerging representational forms and practices be viewed in relation to these historical approaches? How do emerging trends in museum practice – designed to counter prejudiced, stereotypical representations of disabled people – relate to broader developments in disability rights, debates in disability studies, as well as shifting interpretive practices in public history and mass media? What approaches can be deployed to mine and interrogate existing collections in order to investigate histories of disability and disabled people and to identify material evidence that might be marshalled to play a part in countering prejudice? What are the implications of these developments for contemporary collecting? How might such purposive displays be created and what dilemmas and challenges are curators, educators, designers and other actors in the exhibition-making process, likely to encounter along the way? How do audiences – disabled and non-disabled – respond to and engage with interpretive interventions designed to confront, undercut or reshape dominant regimes of representation that underpin and inform contemporary attitudes to disability?

Curating the Future

Author: Jennifer Newell
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317217954
Release Date: 2016-08-12
Genre: Business & Economics

Curating the Future: Museums, Communities and Climate Change explores the way museums tackle the broad global issue of climate change. It explores the power of real objects and collections to stir hearts and minds, to engage communities affected by change. Museums work through exhibitions, events, and specific collection projects to reach different communities in different ways. The book emphasises the moral responsibilities of museums to address climate change, not just by communicating science but also by enabling people already affected by changes to find their own ways of living with global warming. There are museums of natural history, of art and of social history. The focus of this book is the museum communities, like those in the Pacific, who have to find new ways to express their culture in a new place. The book considers how collections in museums might help future generations stay in touch with their culture, even where they have left their place. It asks what should the people of the present be collecting for museums in a climate-changed future? The book is rich with practical museum experience and detailed projects, as well as critical and philosophical analyses about where a museum can intervene to speak to this great conundrum of our times. Curating the Future is essential reading for all those working in museums and grappling with how to talk about climate change. It also has academic applications in courses of museology and museum studies, cultural studies, heritage studies, digital humanities, design, anthropology, and environmental humanities.

Museums in the Second World War

Author: Catherine Pearson
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISBN: 9781351702553
Release Date: 2017-05-25
Genre: History

Exploring the role of museums, galleries and curators during the upheaval of the Second World War, this book challenges the accepted view of a hiatus in museum services during the conflict and its immediate aftermath. Instead it argues that new thinking in the 1930s was realised in a number of promising initiatives during the war only to fail during the fragmented post-war recovery. Based on new research including interviews with retired museum staff, letters, diaries, museum archives and government records, this study reveals a complex picture of both innovation and inertia. At the outbreak of war precious objects were stored away and staff numbers reduced, but although many museums were closed, others successfully campaigned to remain open. By providing innovative modern exhibitions and education initiatives they became popular and valued venues for the public. After the war, however, museums returned to their more traditional, collections-centred approach and failed to negotiate the public funding needed for reconstruction based on this narrower view of their role. Hence, in the longer term, the destruction and economic and social consequences of the conflict served to delay aspirations for reconstruction until the 1960s. Through this lens, the history of the museum in the mid-twentieth century appears as one shaped by the effects of war but equally determined by the input of curators, audiences and the state. The museum thus emerges not as an isolated institution concerned only with presenting the past but as a product of the changing conflicts and cultures within society.

Museum Ethics

Author: Gary Edson
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134773954
Release Date: 2005-09-27
Genre: Business & Economics

A number of developments in the museum movement during the last few years have forced museums to give greater attention to ethical issues. Members of a profession are increasingly regarded constituting an ethical community. Every person with such a community must have a sense of personal obligation as well as a responsibilty for others to assure ethical achievement. This volume firmly places notions of ethics in the field of action. Museum Ethics considers the theoretical and practical elements of the philosophy of conduct in relation to critical contemporaty issues and museums. This discussion encompasses the procurement of artifacts, the rights of indigenous peoples, repatriation, the politics of display, the conservation of objects and the role of education, as well as the day-to-day management of a museum. All persons active in museum matters, whether custodian, curator, or trustee have an ethical obligation to the museum profession and the public. This volume will allow the professional and student to work towards a more responsible and responsive museum community.