Defining the Modern Museum: A Case Study of the Challenges by Lianne McTavish

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By Lianne McTavish

Defining the fashionable Museum is an interesting exploration of the museum as a cultural establishment. Emphasizing museums' dating to colleges, libraries, and govt companies, this interdisciplinary research demanding situations long-standing assumptions approximately museums – revealing their messy, doubtful origins, and belying the traditional narrative in their academic function having been corrupted by way of company goals.

Using theoretical types and vast archival learn, Lianne McTavish examines the case of Canada's oldest carrying on with public museum, the hot Brunswick Museum in Saint John. concentrating on the interval among 1842 and the Nineteen Fifties, McTavish addresses themes corresponding to the transnational trade of items among museums, efforts by means of girls to say area in the association, the construction of Carnegie libraries, and the emerging prestige of curators.

Shedding mild on many themes of present curiosity, in particular the commodification and globalization of museums, this learn makes a full of life contribution to museum reports and cultural studies.

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Extra resources for Defining the Modern Museum: A Case Study of the Challenges of Exchange (Cultural Spaces)

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53 Members of the fledgling Natural History Society of New Brunswick sent out mineral gift-sets in order to position themselves in relation to a host of other societies, establishing their identity and legitimacy, while promoting New Brunswick as a unique geological area rich in mineral wealth. By analysing a series of negotiations between the Museum of the Natural History Society and the Field Columbian Museum in Chicago during the late nineteenth century, I insist that exchanges between museums were neither straightforward gift giving without social expectations, nor capitalist endeavours aimed to produce profit.

They were not useful, initially desired by others, or subject to the laws of supply and demand. It seems clear that the fossil ‘gift-sets’ had to be acquired by others before they could be considered valuable. Perhaps more importantly, the fossils and minerals sent by the Natural History Society had to be acknowledged with a return gift that also served to measure their Exchanging Values in the Museum Marketplace 35 value, in material and monetary terms. Yet even the materials received in exchange cannot strictly be considered commodities, for their precise nature remained relatively unimportant.

At the same time, international exchanges served another pragmatic goal, namely, that of increasing the amount of reference material needed by those scholars studying local natural history. George F. 35 As a founding member of the Natural History Society, he used the influx of geological material primarily for scientific purposes. This kind of ‘specimen swapping’ between scientists continues to this day. Nineteenth-century object exchanges between collectors and museums nevertheless had many layers of meaning, and are not fully explained with reference to practicality.

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