Narrating Objects, Collecting Stories is a wide-ranging collection of essays exploring the stories that can be told by and about objects and those who choose to collect them. Examining objects and collecting in different historical, social and institutional contexts, an international, interdisciplinary group of authors consider the meanings and values with which objects are imputed and the processes and implications of collecting. This includes considering the entanglement of objects and collectors in webs of social relations, value and change, object biographies and the sometimes conflicting stories that things come to represent, and the strategies used to reconstruct and retell the narratives of objects. The book includes considerations of individual and groups of objects, such as domestic interiors, novelty tea-pots, Scottish stone monuments, African ironworking, a postcolonial painting and memorials to those killed on the roads in Australia. It also contains chapters dealing with particular collectors – including Charles Bell and Beatrix Potter – and representational techniques.
“In these articles, a wide range of theory in materiality is investigated through complex objects and “things”… [but] the collection’s real strength emerges when the papers are considered as a group. Together, the papers present a broad swath of the most prominent (and sexiest) thinking and theory in museums and materiality… The collection is thus a valuable contribution to an ever-expanding body of work on objects and the cultural spaces and lives in which they resonate.” - Diana E. Marsh, Museum Anthropology
Introduction: objects, collectors and representations Part I: the mutuality between objects and persons Part II: Object meanings in context Part III: Collectors and collecting in focus Part IV: Representational and narrative strategies