208 pages | 9 B/W Illus.
Re-Imagining the Museum presents new interpretations of museum history and contemporary museum practices.
Through a range of case studies from the UK, North America and Australia, Andrea Witcomb moves away from the idea that museums are always 'conservative' to suggest they have a long history of engaging with popular culture and addressing a variety of audiences. She argues that museums are key mediators between high and popular culture and between government, media practitioners, cultural policy-makers and museums professionals.
Analyzing links between museums and the media, looking at the role of museums in cities, and discussing the effects on museums of cultural policies, Re-Imagining the Museum presents a vital tool in the study of museum practice.
'Refreshing … well written … a thought-provoking and worthwhile read.' - Journal of Museum Ethnography
Museums have undergone enormous changes in recent decades; an ongoing process of renewal and transformation bringing with it changes in priority, practice and role, as well as new expectations, philosophies, imperatives and tensions that continue to attract attention from those working in, and drawing upon, wide-ranging disciplines.
Museum Meanings presents new research that explores diverse aspects of the shifting social, cultural and political significance of museums and their agency beyond, as well as within, the cultural sphere. Interdisciplinary, cross-cultural and international perspectives and empirical investigation are brought to bear on the exploration of museums’ relationships with their various publics (and analysis of the ways in which museums shape – and are shaped by – such interactions).
Theoretical perspectives might be drawn from anthropology, cultural studies, art and art history, learning and communication, media studies, architecture and design and material culture studies, amongst others. Museums are understood very broadly – including art galleries, historic sites and other cultural heritage institutions – as are their relationships with diverse constituencies.
The Series Editors invite proposals that explore the political and social significance of museums and their ethical implications. If you have an idea for a book that you think would be appropriate for the series, then please contact the Series Editors to discuss further.