The Encylopedic Museum

MMA
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art © David Gill

In January the UCS Heritage Group will be considering the issue of the Encyclopedic Museum (Monday 14 January 2013, 4.30 pm; UCS Ipswich). The session will be led by Professor David Gill.

The starting point will be the formation of collections in the Encyclopedic Museums. A good place to start is Wilson’s history of the British Museum. Other museums to consider would be the Ashmolean and the Fitzwilliam, or looking further afield the Louvre or the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The debate has been encouraged by James Cuno’s series of writings on the purpose of museums and collecting. (See review article here.)

Reading

Appiah, K. A. 2006. Cosmopolitanism: ethics in a world of strangers. London: Allen Lane.

Cuno, J. Editor. 2004. Whose muse? Art museums and the public trust. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

—. 2004. “The object of art museums.” In Whose muse? Art museums and the public trust, edited by J. Cuno: 49-75. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

—. 2005. “Museums, antiquities, cultural property, and the US legal framework for making acquisitions.” In Who owns the past? Cultural policy, cultural property, and the law, edited by K. Fitz Gibbon: 143-57. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press / American Council for Cultural Policy.

—. 2008. Who owns antiquity? Museums and the battle over our ancient heritage. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

—. 2008. “Yesterday Nebuchadnezzar …” London Review of Books 30.

—. Editor. 2009. Whose culture? The promise of museums and the debate over antiquities. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

de Montebello, P. 2009. “”And what do you propose should be done with those objects?”.” In Whose culture? The promise of museums and the debate over antiquities, edited by J. Cuno: 55-70. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Gill, D. W. J. 2009. “Electronic review of James Cuno, Who Owns Antiquity? Museums and the Battle Over Our Ancient Heritage (Princeton University Press, 2008).” American Journal of Archaeology 113: 104.

MacGregor, N. 2009. “To shape the citizens of “that great city, the world”.” In Whose culture? The promise of museums and the debate over antiquities, edited by J. Cuno: 39-54. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Owen, D. I. 2009. “Censoring knowledge: the case for the publication of unprovenanced cuneiform tablets.” In Whose culture? The promise of museums and the debate over antiquities, edited by J. Cuno: 125-42. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Rosenberg, C. 2007. “Response to James Cuno.” In The acquisition and exhibition of classical antiquities: professional, legal, and ethical perspectives, edited by R. F. Rhodes: 27-30. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press.

Wilson, D. M. 1989. The British Museum: purpose and politics. London: British Museum Press.

—. 2002. The British Museum: a History. London: The British Museum Press.

Students in checkmate

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UCS Students in the British Museum

Some of our design students visited the British Museum this week to engage with the collections. Our starting point was the Lewis Chessmen, found in the Outer Hebrides.

Engaging Audiences Through Museums

SHARE Ipswich conference 2012
Earlier this week  “How can we use collections to engage audiences?”

Earlier this week we attended the 2nd Annual SHARE conference at Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich. The theme for the day was, “How can we use collections to engage audiences?” The keynote speech was by Maurice Davies of the Museums Association. There were two lots of four 20×20 presentations: Collections rationalisation; Working with young people; Collections for family learning; Museums as learning spaces in Hertfordshire; Museums and health – the impact of reminiscence; Community co-production; Going digital; Collections as inspiration.

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