By Lianne McTavish
Defining the trendy Museum is an engaging exploration of the museum as a cultural establishment. Emphasizing museums' courting to high schools, libraries, and executive companies, this interdisciplinary examine demanding situations long-standing assumptions approximately museums – revealing their messy, doubtful origins, and belying the normal narrative in their academic objective having been corrupted by way of company goals.
Using theoretical versions and wide archival study, Lianne McTavish examines the case of Canada's oldest carrying on with public museum, the hot Brunswick Museum in Saint John. targeting the interval among 1842 and the Fifties, McTavish addresses subject matters corresponding to the transnational trade of items among museums, efforts through ladies to assert area in the association, the production of Carnegie libraries, and the emerging prestige of curators.
Shedding mild on many subject matters of present curiosity, in particular the commodification and globalization of museums, this examine makes a full of life contribution to museum reports and cultural studies.
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Extra resources for Defining the Modern Museum: A Case Study of the Challenges of Exchange (Cultural Spaces)
The objects collected by the New Brunswick organizations were constantly transported around the province and exchanged with the wider world. The staff of these museums not only travelled widely, but were trained throughout Europe and North America. The exhibition spaces of the museums were equally unsettled, moving from place to place throughout the city, depending on the shifting ambitions of museum administrators. Thus, even as my book appears to undertake a detailed case study of the development of one particular institution, it undermines monolithic understandings of the modern museum.
25 Members of the Society were apparently not tempted by this offer, but they did market their own specimens and also drew from the eight thousand fossils collected at the Fern Ledges by Charles Frederick Hartt (1840–76), a founding member of the Natural History Society who in 1868 would become the first professor of geology at Cornell University. 29 When the corresponding secretary of the Natural History Society, Samuel F. Kain – an employee at the Customs House in Saint John and an amateur meteorologist – broached the topic of exchange with other societies and museums, his letters sounded like advertisements.
In June of 1896, G. Brown Goode, assistant secretary of the United States National Museum of Natural History, thanked the Society for sending fossils, noting: ‘I take pleasure in sending you a collection of (tinted) casts of prehistoric implements for the Museum of your Natural History Society. 651. ’45 While noting the reciprocal basis of his ‘gifts,’ Goode implied that he would prefer to receive archaeological specimens from New Brunswick in subsequent interactions. This courteous communication alludes to the power dynamics involved in such gift exchanges.
Defining the Modern Museum: A Case Study of the Challenges of Exchange (Cultural Spaces) by Lianne McTavish