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Museum Studies Resources

 

Guggenheim

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, often referred to as The Guggenheim, opened on October 21, 1959 at 1071 Fifth Avenue on the corner of East 89th Street in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The building was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, though both Guggenheim and Wright would die before the building’s 1959 completion. Since its first day, the Frank Lloyd Wright building has been an iconic space for the display of art as well as a cherished landmark, providing a striking silhouette to countless images, from tourist snapshots to feature films, and becoming an essential part of New York’s architectural landscape.

Visit the Guggenheim museum website for more on the museum’s history, schedule of events, locations and current exhibitions.

Be sure to check out the Museum Worlds website for more on museums, such as exhibit reviewsvirtual museum tours, image galleries, and a special Virtual Journal Issue featuring select Museum Studies articles from Berghahn Journals!


 

While the Guggenheim celebrates its birthday, Berghahn is delighted to present some of our latest Museum Studies titles:

 

Museums and Collections Series:

This series explores the potential of museum collections to transform our knowledge of the world, and for exhibitions to influence the way in which we view and inhabit that world. It offers essential reading for those involved in all aspects of the museum sphere: curators, researchers, collectors, students and the visiting public.

 

Volume 8

MUSEUM WEBSITES AND SOCIAL MEDIA
Issues of Participation, Sustainability, Trust and Diversity
Ana Luisa Sánchez Laws

 

Online activities present a unique challenge for museums as they harness the potential of digital technology for sustainable development, trust building, and representations of diversity. This volume offers a holistic picture of museum online activities that can serve as a starting point for cross-disciplinary discussion. It is a resource for museum staff, students, designers, and researchers working at the intersection of cultural institutions and digital technologies. The aim is to provide insight into the issues behind designing and implementing web pages and social media to serve the broadest range of museum stakeholders.

Read Introduction

 

Volume 7

THE ENEMY ON DISPLAY
The Second World War in Eastern European Museums
Zuzanna Bogumił, Joanna Wawrzyniak, Tim Buchen, Christian Ganzer and Maria Senina

 

Eastern European museums represent traumatic events of World War II, such as the Siege of Leningrad, the Warsaw Uprisings, and the Bombardment of Dresden, in ways that depict the enemy in particular ways. This image results from the interweaving of historical representations, cultural stereotypes and beliefs, political discourses, and the dynamics of exhibition narratives. This book presents a useful methodology for examining museum images and provides a critical analysis of the role historical museums play in the contemporary world. As the catastrophes of World War II still exert an enormous influence on the national identities of Russians, Poles, and Germans, museum exhibits can thus play an important role in this process.

Read Introduction: The Enemy on Display

 

Volume 6 New in Paperback!

EXHIBITING EUROPE IN MUSEUMS
Transnational Networks, Collections, Narratives, and Representations
Wolfram Kaiser, Stefan Krankenhagen and Kerstin Poehls
Translated from the German

 

“Exhibiting Europe marks the first critical analysis of the process of Europeanization of museums. I recommend the book to anyone interested in Europe and museum practitioners.” · H-Soz-Kult

Museums of history and contemporary culture face many challenges in the modern age. One is how to react to processes of Europeanization and globalization, which require more cross-border cooperation and different ways of telling stories for visitors. This book investigates how museums exhibit Europe. Based on research in nearly 100 museums across the Continent and interviews with cultural policy makers and museum curators, it studies the growing transnational activities of state institutions, societal organizations, and people in the museum field such as attempts to Europeanize collection policy and collections as well as different strategies for making narratives more transnational like telling stories of European integration as shared history and discussing both inward and outward migration as a common experience and challenge. The book thus provides fascinating insights into a fast-changing museum landscape in Europe with wider implications for cultural policy and museums in other world regions.

Read Introduction: Exhibiting Europe? Europeanisation as Cultural Practice

 

Volume 5

BORDERS OF BELONGING
Experiencing History, War and Nation at a Danish Heritage Site
Mads Daugbjerg

 

In an era cross-cut with various agendas and expressions of national belonging and global awareness, “the nation” as a collective reference point and experienced entity stands at the center of complex identity struggles. This book explores how such struggles unfold in practice at a highly symbolic battlefield site in the Danish/German borderland. Comprised of an ethnography of two profoundly different institutions – a conventional museum and an experience-based heritage center – it analyses the ways in which staff and visitors interfere with, relate to, and literally “make sense” of the war heritage and its national connotations. Borders of Belonging offers a comparative, in-depth analysis of the practices and negotiations through which history is made and manifested at two houses devoted to the interpretation of one event: the decisive battle of the 1864 war in which Otto von Bismarck, on his way to uniting the new German Empire, led the Prussian army to victory over the Danish. Working through his empirical material to engage with and challenge established theoretical positions in the study of museums, modernity, and tourism, Mads Daugbjerg demonstrates that national belonging is still a key cultural concern, even as it asserts itself in novel, muted, and increasingly experiential ways.

 

Volume 4

COLONIAL COLLECTING AND DISPLAY
Encounters with Material Culture from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Claire Wintle

 

In the late-nineteenth century, British travelers to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands compiled wide-ranging collections of material culture for scientific instruction and personal satisfaction. Colonial Collecting and Display follows the compelling history of a particular set of such objects, tracing their physical and conceptual transformation from objects of indigenous use to accessioned objects in a museum collection in the south of England. This first study dedicated to the historical collecting and display of the Islands’ material cultures develops a new analysis of colonial discourse, using a material culture-led approach to reconceptualize imperial relationships between Andamanese, Nicobarese, and British communities, both in the Bay of Bengal and on British soil. It critiques established conceptions of the act of collecting, arguing for recognition of how indigenous makers and consumers impacted upon “British” collection practices, and querying the notion of a homogenous British approach to material culture from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Please visit our website for a complete list of titles in this series.


HAVING AND BELONGING
Homes and Museums in Israel
Judy Jaffe-Schagen

Volume 5, Material Mediations: People and Things in a World of Movement

 

The home and the museum are typically understood as divergent, even oppositional, social realms: whereas one evokes privacy and familial intimacy, the other is conceived of as a public institution oriented around various forms of civic identity. This meticulous, insightful book draws striking connections between both spheres, which play similar roles by housing objects and generating social narratives. Through fascinating explorations of the museums and domestic spaces of eight representative Israeli communities—Chabad, Moroccan, Iraqi, Ethiopian, Russian, Religious-Zionist, Christian Arab, and Muslim Arab—it gives a powerful account of museums’ role in state formation, proposing a new approach to collecting and categorizing particularly well-suited to societies in conflict.

Read Introduction

 

Now in Paperback

EXTREME COLLECTING
Challenging Practices for 21st Century Museums
Edited by Graeme Were and J. C. H. King

 

“We learn a lot [in this volume] about how museums think and work and by implication the self-representation of societies.” · Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale

By exploring the processes of collecting, which challenge the bounds of normally acceptable practice, this book debates the practice of collecting ‘difficult’ objects, from a historical and contemporary perspective; and discusses the acquisition of objects related to war and genocide, and those purchased from the internet, as well as considering human remains, mass produced objects and illicitly traded antiquities. The aim is to apply a critical approach to the rigidity of museums in maintaining essentially nineteenth-century ideas of collecting; and to move towards identifying priorities for collection policies in museums, which are inclusive of acquiring ‘difficult’ objects. Much of the book engages with the question of the limits to the practice of collecting as a means to think through the implementation of new strategies.

Read Extreme Collecting: Dealing with Difficult Objects

 

New in Paperback

FROM ANTIQUITIES TO HERITAGE
Transformations of Cultural Memory
Anne Eriksen

Volume 1, Time and the World: Interdisciplinary Studies in Cultural Transformations

 

“Eriksen is a lucid writer. Her case studies are highly informative and reveal a detailed knowledge of Norway’s past that few scholars could match.” · Museum Anthropology

Eighteenth-century gentleman scholars collected antiquities. Nineteenth-century nation states built museums to preserve their historical monuments. In the present world, heritage is a global concern as well as an issue of identity politics. What does it mean when runic stones or medieval churches are transformed from antiquities to monuments to heritage sites? This book argues that the transformations concern more than words alone: They reflect fundamental changes in the way we experience the past, and the way historical objects are assigned meaning and value in the present. This book presents a series of cases from Norwegian culture to explore how historical objects and sites have changed in meaning over time. It contributes to the contemporary debates over collective memory and cultural heritage as well to our knowledge about early modern antiquarianism.

Read Introduction

 

Now in Paperback

DISTRIBUTED OBJECTS
Meaning and Mattering after Alfred Gell
Edited by Liana Chua and Mark Elliott

 

“…profound scholarly reflections on the distributed effects of Alfred Gell’s endeavor to identify an anthropological theory of …a captivating pendant piece to Gell’s original publication. Itis not meant as a guidebook to understanding Gell’s work; rather it is a collection of complex studies that capture distinct engagements with Gell’s ideas around an anthropology of art.” · Material World

One of the most influential anthropological works of the last two decades, Alfred Gell’s Art and Agency is a provocative and ambitious work that both challenged and reshaped anthropological understandings of art, agency, creativity and the social. It has become a touchstone in contemporary artifact-based scholarship. This volume brings together leading anthropologists, archaeologists, art historians and other scholars into an interdisciplinary dialogue with Art and Agency, generating a timely re-engagement with the themes, issues and arguments at the heart of Gell’s work, which remains salient, and controversial, in the social sciences and humanities.

Read Introduction: Adventures in the Art Nexus

 


 

BERGHAHN JOURNALS

 

Museum Worlds
Advances in Research

Editors: Sandra Dudley, University of Leicester
Conal McCarthy, Victoria University of Wellington

Visit the Museum Worlds Companion Site for resources and a special Virtual Journal Issue

 

Museum Worlds: Advances in Research aims to trace and comment on major regional, theoretical, methodological and topical themes and debates, and encourage comparison of museum theories, practices, and developments in different global settings. Each issue includes a conversation piece on a current topic, as well as peer reviewed scholarly articles and review articles, book and exhibition reviews, and news on developments in museum studies and related curricula in different parts of the world. Drawing on the expertise and networks of a global Editorial Board of senior scholars and museum practitioners, the journal will both challenge and develop the core concepts that link different disciplinary perspectives on museums by bringing new voices into ongoing debates and discussions.

 

 

Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society

Editor: Eckhardt Fuchs, Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research

Special Issue: Museums and the Educational Turn: History, Memory, Inclusivity

 

The Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society (JEMMS) explores perceptions of society as constituted and conveyed in processes of learning and educational media. The focus is on various types of texts (such as textbooks, museums, memorials, films) and their institutional, political, social, economic, and cultural contexts. The construction of collective memory and conceptions of space, the production of meaning, image formation, forms of representation, and perceptions of the “self” and the “other,” as well as processes of identity construction (ethnic, national, regional, religious, institutional, gender) are of particular interest. Special importance is given to the significance of educational media for social cohesion and conflict. The journal is international and interdisciplinary and welcomes empirically based contributions from the humanities and the social sciences as well as theoretical and methodological studies.