New Museums and the Making of Culture  book cover
1st Edition

New Museums and the Making of Culture

ISBN 9781845204549
Published December 1, 2006 by Routledge
250 Pages

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Book Description

In the last decade, museums all around the world have been reinventing themselves. They are now much more than scholarly, cultural archives. A remit to reach out to a broader public, the increasing politicization of the ownership and curation of objects, the architectural expectations of new buildings, the requirements of the "event exhibit"...all have changed the way any new museum is built, operates and serves its public purpose. Museums now reflect global economics and local politics. New museums now shape our public culture.Illustrated with a very wide range of museums and museum spaces - from MOMA in New York to the reconstruction of Ground Zero, from the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC to the Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, from the planned renewal of the Crystal Palace site in London to the Sendai Mediatheque in Japan - the book reveals how the new museum is evolving as a cross-disciplinary, self-consciously political, and often avowedly self-reflexive institution.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Shifting Organisations, Knowledges and Effects 1. Theorising New Museums, Language and Politics 2. The Shock of the New: Unity and the Modern Museum 3. History in the Making: Spectacles of Empire, Currencies of Newness, Consumption and Citizenship 4. Culture in the Making: Public Spheres and Political Urgency5. Contested Sites of Identity and the Cult of the New6. Diversity and Changing Models: From New Museum to Cultural CentreConclusion: Cultural Reconstruction

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Kylie Message is ARC Special Research Centre Research Fellow and Convener of the Museums and Collections graduate program at the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research, the Australian National University.


Through her thorough and inquisitive research, Message is encouraging us to step back and analyse what these new museums are truly accomplishing, inspiring us to take the initiative to work through the rhetoric and develop museum practice that is truly inclusive and representative of our multicultural communities. - Christa Lohman, Journal of Museum Ethnography