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Katherine Fennelly

archetypical asylum building, eclipsing the institutions which came before. By the end of the twentieth century, many of the large asylums – those constructed in the first wave of asylum building before 1845 and those constructed after – ceased operation as hospitals or facilities for the poor. Many were closed, others repurposed, and a few were demolished or left exposed to weather and vandalism. The result of this mass closure was that dozens of large institutional buildings in English and Irish towns and cities stood empty and in need of reuse

in An archaeology of lunacy
James Clifford

occurring. Call it a ‘decentring of the West’, perhaps the principal achievement of the last half of the twentieth century. Two driving forces of this shift can be named, in shorthand: decolonisation and globalisation. Proceeding at economic, social, political and cultural levels, these processes are uneven and sometimes contradictory. Decolonisation and globalisation are linked, but distinct, historical dynamics. This is, naturally, a crude generalisation, painting with a broom. But it will have to suffice, for now, to characterise the changing times of the curator in a

in Curatopia
Pluralism and the politics of change in Canada’s national museums
Ruth B. Phillips

contours of the Senate Library, while to the west the long, low-slung contours of Moriyama and Teshima’s Canadian War Museum emerge from a grassy embankment. On the Quebec side of the river, the curving organic forms created by Douglas Cardinal for the Canadian Museum of History face across to the high bluff crowned by the Parliament buildings. The commissioning of Israeli-Canadian, Japanese-Canadian and Blackfoot architects to design new homes for these three museums was as emblematic of the multicultural construct of Canadian identity promoted by late twentieth-century

in Curatopia
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Scientific disciplines in the museum
Samuel J.M.M. Alberti

institutions that were otherwise principally dedicated to professional and industrial topics. Natural history museums thrived at the intersection of education, empire and leisure. On this historians agree, but few have turned their attention to the Nature and culture 32 subsequent fate of natural science collections in twentieth-century Britain. How did they fare in the century of the laboratory, mass media and the end of empire? To find out, I explore the cultural cartography and wider contexts of the Manchester Museum. I interrogate the shifting disciplinary boundaries

in Nature and culture
Open Access (free)
Clusters of knowledge
Julia Roberts and Kathleen Sheppard

during the twentieth century. By examining Fleck’s theory in detail, Milosavljević appraises the advantages and disadvantages of using this philosophy in the history of archaeology. As a consequence of its history as part of the socially conservative Yugoslavia and its isolation from Western Europe during the latter half of the twentieth century Serbian archaeology, Milosavljević argues, has a history dissimilar to that of the discipline in the rest of Europe. While these factors led to dogmatism within local archaeological communities Milosavljević looks at how

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology
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Artefacts and disciplinary formation
Samuel J.M.M. Alberti

, archaeology and ethnology by the middle of the twentieth century. Like the last chapter, this is a study of relationships between objects and people, explored to better understand the construction of nature and culture in museums.1 Again, my building blocks are disciplines – here the diverse communities of practice who studied elaborate works of art or plain stone tools, with theoretical approaches that illuminated both personal lives and complex civilisations. And like the natural sciences discussed above, these disciplines underwent considerable change over the course of

in Nature and culture
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Technique and the lives of objects in the collection
Samuel J.M.M. Alberti

constant attention which large collections require to protect them from moth and rust and other troubles’, proclaimed the Manchester Museum’s Report in the middle of the twentieth century, ‘normally involves a considerable amount of unspectacular work.’29 This was often unpleasant circumstances: techniques such as maceration were nasty, smelly tasks.30 The environment itself was often challenging – the herbarium in particular was an extremely cold place to work. (In the winter of 1978–79, the east corridor was so cold that the specimens themselves began to disintegrate

in Nature and culture
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Audiences and objects
Samuel J.M.M. Alberti

that in catering for the large student group of visitors and in cultivating contacts with the university, such sections of the visiting public have not been encouraged.26 This result mirrored general museum visiting patterns in the UK, and in his interpretation, Owen echoed similar concerns expressed by the Natural History Society a century earlier. The disparity between intended and actual audiences was a common feature of museums in both the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Organising the visitor The same visitor research revealed that visits tended to last

in Nature and culture
Anthony Alan Shelton

in exhibition texts and catalogues. Although Andean exhibitions continued to use the treasure genre alluding to gold, riches and wherever possible royalty, beginning in the late  ­twentieth century, museums began to re-embed their narratives in more nuanced, historically and geographically specific, cultural interpretations. The growth of Andean archaeological and anthropological studies and the expansion of national schools in Latin America in the 1970s, increased focus on iconographic analysis, linguistics, ethnographic models and the excavation of burial sites

in Curatopia
The changing role of migration museums in Australia
Andrea Witcomb

with their camels opened up the northern areas of the colony … One can not tell these stories without also looking at the impact of white settlement on the Aboriginal population.9 These stories, the article went on to explain, are told from a social history perspective which meant that ‘the focus is on “ordinary” people; the life experiences of the average man, woman, and child. What it felt like to make the journey from a far off land, arrive in a new and strange country and to begin to build a home and a future here.’10 The twentieth century was covered in a

in Curatopia