Book Review – Museum Revolutions

How museums change and are changed

This single-volume museum studies reference title explores the ways in which museums are shaped and configured and how they themselves attempt to shape and change the world around them.

Written by a leading group of museum professionals and academics from around the world and including new research, the chapters reveal the diverse and subtle means by which museums engage and in so doing change and are changed. The authors span over 200 years discussing national museums, ecomuseums, society museums, provincial galleries, colonial museums, the showman’s museum, and science centres. Topics covered include: disciplinary practices, ethnic representation, postcolonial politics, economic aspiration, social reform, indigenous models, conceptions of history, urban regeneration, sustainability, sacred objects, a sense of place, globalization, identities, social responsibility, controversy, repatriation, human remains, drama, learning and education.

Capturing the richness of the museum studies discipline, Museum Revolutions is the ideal text for museum studies courses, providing a wide range of interlinked themes and the latest thought and research from experts in the field. It is invaluable for those students and museum professionals who want to understand the past, present and future of the museum.

Introduction: Simon Knell Shaping museums and manifestos

1 Establishing the paradigmatic museum: Georges Cuvier’s Cabinet d’anatomie comparée in Paris Philippe Taquet

2 William Bullock: inventing a visual language of objects Susan Pearce

3 Museums, fossils and the cultural revolution of science: mapping change in the politics of knowledge in early nineteenth-century Britain Simon J. Knell

4 Establishing the manifesto: art histories in the nineteenth-century museum Christopher Whitehead

5 Economic logic versus Enlightenment rationality: evolution of the museum-zoo-garden complex and the modern Indian city, 1843-1900 Savithri Preetha Nair

6 Occupying the architecture of the gallery: spatial, social and professional change at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 1877-1933 Suzanne MacLeod

7 Modernity and identity: the National Museum of Iran Ali Mozaffari

8 Science centres: a museums studies approach to their development and possible future direction Richard Toon

9 Before ‘Te Maori’: a revolution deconstructed Conal McCarthy

10 Museums, social responsibility and the future we desire Robert R. Janes Changing places, changing people

11 Making Pakeha histories in New Zealand museums: community and identity in the post-war period Bronwyn Labrum

12 History museums, community identities and a sense of place: rewriting histories Sheila Watson

13 Museums and the shaping of cultural identities: visitors’ recollections in local museums in Taiwan Chia-Li Chen

14 Political and social influences affecting the sense of place in municipal museums in Portugal Marta Anico and Elsa Peralta

15 Ecomuseums and sustainability in Italy, Japan and China: concept adaptation through implementation Peter Davis

16 Maori, museums and the Treaty of Waitangi: the changing politics of representation and control David Butts

17 Cultural entrepreneurs, sacred objects and the living museums of Africa Evelyn Tegomoh

18 Charting the boundaries: Indigenous models and parallel practices in the development of the post-museum Moira G. Simpson

19 Where to from here? Repatriation of Indigenous human remains and ‘the museum’ Michael Pickering Articulating change: media, message, philosophy

20 Beyond nostalgia: the role of affect in generating historical understanding at heritage sites Kate Gregory and Andrea Witcomb

21 Visitors and learning: adult museum visitors’ learning identities Lynda Kelly

22 Museums – drama, ritual and power Jem Fraser

23 Critical museum pedagogy and exhibition development: a conceptual first step Margaret A. Lindauer

24 Learning at the museum frontiers: democracy, identity and difference Viv Golding

25 Moral lessons and reforming agendas: history museums, science museums, contentious topics and contemporary societies Fiona Cameron

26 ‘Who knows the fate of his bones?’ Rethinking the body on display: object, art or human remains? Mary M. Brooks & Claire Rumsey

27 From the document to the monument: museums and the philosophy of history Beth Lord

28 Education, postmodernity and the museum Eilean Hooper-Greenhill

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