Museum Culture: Histories, Theories, Spectacles

Rogoff, Irit and Sherman, D, eds. 1994. Museum Culture: Histories, Theories, Spectacles. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press. ISBN 978-0-8166-1953-5 [Edited Book]

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Abstract or Description

Museums are the staging grounds of culture-a close look reveals that museums display much more than artifacts, and this perceptive tour of our collected and catalogued culture affords such a look. This book conducts us through the complex of ideas, values, and symbols that pervade and shape the practice of exhibiting that make the museum a central institution and metaphor in contemporary society. Writing from a broad range of perspectives in history, art history and criticism, critical theory, and sociology, the authors represented here go beyond previous institutional analyses to consider the museum as the intricate amalgam of architecture, history, practices and strategies of display, and pedagogical and other programs, functioning under the aegis of various governing ideologies.

These essays explore the ways in which museums assign meaning to art through various kinds of exhibitions and display strategies and controlling discourses. The authors examine the political implications of these strategies and the forms of knowledge they invoke and construct, their transformations into alternative exhibition forms, and their recent involvement with the spectacular practices of mass-media culture. Certain essays also take up the question of how the museum—going public itself is constructed. Drawing on the history of museums and ranging from Western Europe to the former Soviet Union, Israel, and the United States, this book will interest historians, critics, museum professionals, students of art and critical theory, and all those concerned with our contemporary museum culture.

Item Type:

Edited Book

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures



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Date Deposited:

23 Nov 2010 15:27

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 15:01


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