Europe’s national museums have since their creation been at the centre of on-going nation making processes. National museums negotiate conflicts and contradictions and entrain the community sufficiently to obtain the support of scientists and art connoisseurs, citizens and taxpayers, policy makers, domestic and foreign visitors alike. National Museums and Nation-building in Europe 1750-2010 assess the national museum as a manifestation of cultural and political desires, rather than that a straightforward representation of the historical facts of a nation.
National Museums and Nation-building in Europe 1750-2010 examinesthe degree to which national museums have created models and representations of nations, their past, present and future, and proceeds to assess the consequences of such attempts. Revealing how different types of nations and states – former empires, monarchies, republics, pre-modern, modern or post-imperial entities – deploy and prioritise different types of museums (based on art, archaeology, culture and ethnography) in their making, this book constitutes the first comprehensive and comparative perspective on national museums in Europe and their intricate relationship to the making of nations and states.
"Each essay is thoroughly researched, and empirical data supports many findings. In sum, this book represents a unique contribution to the field of museum studies and is an important addition to the study of European cultural history. Summing Up: Recommended." - A. Verplaetse, Harvard University, CHOICE Review
Introduction 1. Towards a Typology: the changing roles of Art Museums 2. Cultural History Museums and the making of Citizens and Communities 3. National Museums in between Regionalism, Nationalism and Imperialism, 1750 – 1914 4. Post-imperial Nations: new states, new borders and new unions 1914-2010 5. Conflicted Histories: museums, nations, empires, religions 6. National Museums and National Symbols: searching for the ‘symbolic regimes’ of Europe Conclusion: The National Museum as a Cultural Constitution