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By Sharon Macdonald

A significant other to Museum reports captures a clean, multidisciplinary method of the examine of the advance, roles, and importance of museums in modern society. the quantity collects authoritative unique essays via prime figures from various disciplines and theoretical stances-anthropology, artwork heritage, historical past, literature, sociology, cultural experiences, and museum stories proper.The publication examines the complexity of the museum from cultural, political governance, curatorial, old and representational views. From conventional matters, together with area, demonstrate, structures, and accumulating, to extra modern demanding situations and issues, equivalent to vacationing, trade, group and experimental exhibition types, this significant other proves itself an fundamental reference for artwork historians, museum curators, and artwork and tradition enthusiasts.

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Chapters often speak to concerns in other sections. For this reason, the introduction to each Part also identifies at least some of the other chapters which bear upon the themes of those included in that particular Part. Readers may wish to begin at the beginning and work through the volume; and chapters have been organized such that some of the earlier ones provide a useful basis for understanding some of those that 10 Introduction follow. Chapters have also been grouped in order to bring particular themes together and to enable readers to follow a relatively ordered course through particular territories.

Ideas linked to the term “cultural theory” are as likely to be found in geography or music seminars as in those of history, philosophy, literature, film, art, gallery, and museum studies. There is no one single definition of cultural theory and its application varies according to intellectual context. There are, however, a number of key concepts and issues which fall under its name. This chapter examines these to see how they have informed and contributed to the field of museum studies, looking, in particular, at the increasingly explicit use of cultural theory within museum studies.

As Eilean Hooper-Greenhill’s contribution (chapter 22) here shows especially, the amount of work dedicated to trying to understand how museums and exhibitions may be perceived or otherwise related to by those who go to them – and also, though this remains under-addressed, by those who do not – has expanded greatly since The New Museology was published. Not only has there been an expansion of the quantity of visitor research, but a greater range of methodological approaches – particularly qualitative – has also been brought to bear.

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