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Jonathan Silver

Monuments Museum – Jonathan Silver Imagine news emerged that 18,000 undiscovered historical artefacts relating to Manchester had been illegally taken out of the country by a museum in North Africa. We can only think what the response in the city would be in such circumstances. Political leaders would demand the return of the stolen goods, public protests would break out, and commentators would call such an act barbaric, immoral and a cultural crime. If such a scenario seems unlikely, then this is precisely what happened in Egypt at the end of the nineteenth and

in Manchester
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Sam Rohdie

Museum Some paintings at the end of the nineteenth century, the work of Manet, for example, became what Foucault called ‘museum paintings’, paintings for other paintings, both contemporary and of the past. The historical dimension was not particularly chronological. The museum painting related to other paintings not by geography, time, or subject but as form and its transformation: light, brushstroke, colour, composition, surface. The museum was not primarily educational, nor there to conserve and preserve works of art, but rather to exhibit art as sacred for

in Film modernism
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Temporality and timelessness in artefacts, relics and romance
Mimi Ensley

Spenser and Lane creatively supplemented Chaucer’s Squire’s Tale , presenting their work as a solution to the fragmented memory of the past. The power of monumental memory, in other words, comes through accumulation and addition. By contrast, this chapter investigates memory as a form of extraction, selection and curation – memory in the medium of the museum. Scholars of Museum Studies discuss the processes of ‘musealisation’, whereby an object is ‘separated from its actual reality and transferred to a new, museum reality in

in Difficult pasts
An Interview with Rainer Schlösser, Spokesperson of the Association of the Red Cross Museums in Germany (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der deutschen Rotkreuz-Museen)
Sönke Kunkel

Sönke Kunkel (SK): First of all, thank you for taking the time for this interview and thanks for the lively tour through its exhibit! I was wondering if you could perhaps first say a few words about the museum itself: How did it get started and what is it doing? Rainer Schlösser (RS): Well, like many German Red Cross Museums, we started out with a small collection and a small room, in 2000, and then, over time, gradually expanded. In 2007, we were granted the opportunity to extend the museum to a number of rooms on the first floor, and since 2012 we have

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Claire Sutherland

communism in contemporary Germany and consolidate it in Vietnam, museums make a significant contribution to shaping nation-building in each case. Differing conceptions of the museum’s role in socialist and capitalist, contemporary and traditional settings provide the context for a comparative analysis of the German Historical Museum in Berlin and the Vietnamese History Museum in Hanoi. Both offer a chronological national narrative

in Soldered states
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Loving objects and each other

Transport museums were one of the success stories of the micromuseums boom. All over the UK people started collecting bicycles, motorbikes, cars, vans, buses, trams, locomotives, aeroplanes, and canal boats. Rust was scraped down, metalwork repaired, bodywork resprayed, lettering and decorations reapplied, engines overhauled and oiled, woodwork made sound and watertight

in Stories from small museums
The politics of Turkish emigration to Europe

Since the 1960s, tens of thousands of people in the UK have launched museums on all manner of subjects. These small, independent organisations now account for over half of all the museums in the country. They are not eccentric exceptions or curious anomalies. In terms of numbers, they easily dominate the sector.

Concentrating on museums of transport, local history, and war and conflict, and drawing on oral histories with museum founders, Stories from small museums asks what prompted the micromuseums boom. Who exactly opened the new museums and why did they want to do so? Where did the objects come from and where were they housed? Who paid for these spaces and things, and who did the work? And what were the wider circumstances of the new micromuseums? The book covers topics ranging from the mining industry to tourism, changes in warfare, and the structure of the British Army to second-home ownership and local authority boundaries. It also takes in questions of gender, institutional racism, class, and social privilege, as well as people’s emotional connections to objects, places and one another.

As such, it challenges and entirely revises the heritage debates, providing the first history of the museums boom and putting ordinary people’s experience at the heart of museum production.

Modernity and the Gendering of Knowledge

This book examines the roles and activities of women in British museums between 1850 and 1914. It shows women were active as employees, volunteers, donors, visitors, and patrons of museums, and examines the ways in which the growth of archaeology and anthropology in museums affected women, as well as their role in museums inspired by John Ruskin. It argues that to recover the extent of women’s agency in museums, we need to think of museums as distributed networks of people and objects; activities and objects outside as well as inside the museum institution worked to create knowledge and subjectivity. Such an approach reveals the rich new ways in which museums were developed by women, who brought new types of object such as social historical artefacts, and new ways of valuing and communicating those objects, as well as new concerns with community engagement and outreach. Yet the book also outlines the limits of women’s museum roles, showing how they were unable to have much influence over large, national museums, and colonised instead small, regional museums, especially those situated in slum areas. Nevertheless, it argues that women and museums between them formulated a distinctive arena for the understanding of modernity, in contrast to many other manifestations of modernity, and that museums and women helped to make each other modern.

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Natural history, human cultures and colonial identities

Museums were an expression of the western conviction in the onward march of the rational. Local civilisations were also the prime focus in other Asian imperial museums. This is the first book that examines the origins and development of museums in six major regions if the British Empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It analyses museum histories in thirteen major centres in Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India and South-East Asia, setting them into the economic and social contexts of the cities and colonies in which they were located. Museums in Canada have a longer, though somewhat chequered, history than elsewhere in the British Empire. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto and the Royal British Columbia museum in Victoria were two notable, yet very different, expressions of imperial expansiveness . The book then overviews two representative museums: the South African Museum (SAM) in Cape Town and the Albany Museum in Grahamstown. The origins and development of the National Museum of Victoria (NMV) in Melbourne, South Australian Museum (SAuM) and Australian Museum (AM) are then discussed. New Zealand/Aotearoa, with its Canterbury Museum and War Memorial Museum, has discrete origins as a colony in the nineteenth century. Imperial museums in Asia were unquestionably distinctive compared with those of the territories of white settlement. A number of key themes emerge: the development of elites within colonial towns; the emergence of the full range of cultural institutions associated with this; and the modification of the key scientific ideas of the age.

Service and salvage
Kate Hill

7 Ruskin, women and museums: service and salvage I n the obituary of Henry Swan, curator of St George’s Museum, Sheffield, in the Sheffield Independent in 1889, it was said that Mr Swan, ‘in connection with Mrs Swan and the whole of his family, strove to bring home to Sheffield … helpfulness, beauty, and joy in life, which are the great principles in Mr Ruskin’s life and writings’.1 The prominence of Mrs Emily Swan in the running of the museum was such that Ruskin himself described her as the ‘Curatress’. She was not alone; women were particularly prominent

in Women and Museums, 1850–1914