Anti-Museum: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover


1st Edition

By Adrian Franklin


152 pages | 31 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138604124
pub: 2019-11-12
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Anti-Museum charts the development of the anti-museum as a concept and as it has been realised in practice. Drawing on a range of case studies, including the New Museum and PS1 in New York, Mona in Australia, Art42 in Paris and Donald Judd’s Marfa, the book assesses their potential to engage museum publics in new ways.

Anti-museums seek to breathe relational and theatricalised vitality into the objects they exhibit, by connecting them to the contexts of their making, to their social life outside the museum, to visitors' lives via their transformative capacities for change, and by being a place of dialogue, exchange and transformation, rather than instruction. Documenting the ways in which they have been created by artists, collectors, and curators, the book also examines the extent to which anti-museums connect with other museums through the exchange of values and resources. Critically, it asks whether, after some 40 years of ‘new museology’, such institutions are still able to offer something fresh and valuable.

Anti-Museum provides a sharp and incisive account of the anti-museum as it has been imagined, realised and experienced, and as it has relevance for understanding and working in the contemporary museum world. As such, the book will be of great interest to scholars and students engaged in the study of museums, cultural economy, inclusive urban regeneration, the democratisation of art and contemporary art. It should also appeal to museum professionals around the world.

Table of Contents

1.Introduction: Anti-Museum - Imagining the Unthinkable; 2. Collection De L’Art Brut, Lausanne; 3. Donald Judd’s Marfa; 4. New York, New York: P.S.1and New Museum; 5.Mona (Museum of Old and New Art), Hobart; 6. Art42, Paris; 7. Conclusion: The Art of Museums beyond Convention

About the Author

Adrian Franklin is Professor of Creative Industries and Cultural Policy at the University of South Australia.

About the Series

Museums in Focus

Committed to the articulation of big, even risky, ideas in short-format publications, Museums In Focus challenges authors and readers to experiment with, innovate, and press museums and the intellectual frameworks through which we view these. It offers a platform for approaches that radically rethink the relationships between cultural and intellectual dissent and crisis and debates about museums, politics and the broader public sphere.

Museums In Focus is motivated by the intellectual hypothesis that museums are not innately ‘useful’, safe’ or even ‘public’ places, and that recalibrating our thinking about them might benefit from adopting a more radical and oppositional form of logic and approach. Examining this problem requires a level of comfort with (or at least tolerance of) the idea of crisis, dissent, protest and radical thinking, and authors might benefit from considering how cultural and intellectual crisis, regeneration and anxiety have been dealt with in other disciplines and contexts.

Books published in the series are between 30,000 and 50,000 words in length and fully refereed.  If you would like to discuss submitting a proposal, please contact the series editor:

Further information about Professor Message's work can be found here:

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ART / Museum Studies
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Library & Information Science / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology