Matching Items (21)

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Quliaqtuavut tuugaatigun (Our stories in ivory): reconnecting Arctic narratives with engraved drill bows

Description

This dissertation explores complex representations of spiritual, social and cultural ways of knowing embedded within engraved ivory drill bows from the Bering Strait. During the nineteenth century, multi-faceted ivory drill

This dissertation explores complex representations of spiritual, social and cultural ways of knowing embedded within engraved ivory drill bows from the Bering Strait. During the nineteenth century, multi-faceted ivory drill bows formed an ideal surface on which to recount life events and indigenous epistemologies reflective of distinct environmental and socio-cultural relationships. Carvers added motifs over time and the presence of multiple hands suggests a passing down of these objects as a form of familial history and cultural patrimony. Explorers, traders and field collectors to the Bering Strait eagerly acquired engraved drill bows as aesthetic manifestations of Arctic mores but recorded few details about the carvings resulting in a disconnect between the objects and their multi-layered stories. However, continued practices of ivory carving and storytelling within Bering Strait communities holds potential for engraved drill bows to animate oral histories and foster discourse between researchers and communities. Thus, this collaborative project integrates stylistic analyses and ethno-historical accounts on drill bows with knowledge shared by Alaska Native community members and is based on the understanding that oral narratives can bring life and meaning to objects within museum collections.

Contributors

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Entanglements of "living heritage: ecomuseum development in rural China

Description

Museums are gaining increasing attention throughout the world for their ability to foster social inclusion, intercultural dialogue, and collaboration in practices of heritage management, exhibition, and interpretation. This dissertation aims

Museums are gaining increasing attention throughout the world for their ability to foster social inclusion, intercultural dialogue, and collaboration in practices of heritage management, exhibition, and interpretation. This dissertation aims to contribute a critical perspective on museums as agents of social change through an exploration of new museological practices in contemporary China. Through an ethnography of the ecomuseum, I unravel the assumptions and expectations of implementing a Western concept based on notions of community participation, empowerment, and the democratization of heritage in the context of a transforming China.

In my ethnographic account of the multifaceted politics faced by ecomuseums, I question how power and authority are mediated through these civic institutions and how central aspects of museum and heritage practices are being redressed in Chinese society. This study exposes how ecomuseums in China are a result of global processes and positioned as part of a heritage protection movement and museum development boom to promote cultural nationalism, a "civilized" China, and state edicts of rural development in impoverished ethnic minority regions. Detailing the implications of government-led ecomuseum development in ethnic villages in southwest China, and the specific case of Huaili ecomuseum, in Guangxi, I interrogate the institutionalization of heritage and cultural landscapes through processes of exhibition, museumification, and the revaluing of culture. I explore the ecomuseum as a social space of cross-cultural encounter and friction through which local actors grapple with conditions of cultural governance and the entanglements cultural difference and a national heritage discourse. In my critical analysis of collected ethnographic narratives over 15 months of fieldwork from state-directed interest groups, Chinese technocrats, and villager informants involved in the institutionalization of heritage, I present the complex arrangements and interactions that take place through the ecomuseum context and how subject positionalities shift and claims to heritage, identity, and voice are negotiated, regulated, and contested. This study contributes to the anthropology of China and museum and heritage studies, and aims to push new directions in the study of community heritage and museums, in offering a critical perspective of the political nature of ecomuseums in non-Western contexts, such as China.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Private museums and their legacies: the case of Ronald S. Lauder and Adele Bloch-Bauer's Neue Galerie

Description

The Neue Galerie in New York City includes some of the most impressive and culturally-specific artwork from Ronald S. Lauder's private art collection. The Neue's permanent exhibitions showcase pieces from

The Neue Galerie in New York City includes some of the most impressive and culturally-specific artwork from Ronald S. Lauder's private art collection. The Neue's permanent exhibitions showcase pieces from the Wiener Sezession (Vienna Secession) and Wiener Werkstätte (Applied Arts of Vienna) in an environment that also employs replicas and period specific motifs to evoke the interiors of the private homes in which affluent fin-de-siècle Viennese art patrons lived, displayed influential modernist work, and held culturally important salons. Gustav Klimt's celebrated Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1907) is arguably the museum's most prized artwork. It serves as an icon that immortalizes Ronald Lauder as private collector. The figure of Adele Bloch-Bauer has also become an important emblem, whose story epitomizes the complexities of Jewish identity and its influence upon Viennese modern art. This thesis explores how the Neue Galerie's physical layout represents a specific model of modernism. By focusing on the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, I urge a rethinking of the museum's relationship to modern art as an interpretation of the past. The themes that surround Adele Bloch-Bauer I have shaped Lauder's agenda as the leading private collector of the art of fin-de-siècle Vienna.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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The public face of history: the New Western History from the academy to Southwestern history museum exhibits

Description

This study examines history museums in Arizona and New Mexico to determine whether New Western History themes are prevalent, twenty years after the term was conceived. Patricia Limerick is credited

This study examines history museums in Arizona and New Mexico to determine whether New Western History themes are prevalent, twenty years after the term was conceived. Patricia Limerick is credited with using the expression in the 1980s, but she had to promote the concept frequently and for many years. There was resistance to changing from the Frederick Jackson Turner thesis of looking at the frontier as an expansion from the East, even while others were already writing more current historiography.

Limerick’s four “Cs”—continuity, convergence, conquest, and complexity—took a view of the West from the West, worthy of a separate perspective. These themes also allowed historians to reflect on what was happening locally, how and why various people were interacting, how there was less of a benevolent imbuing of European culture on Native Americans than there was a conquest of indigenous people, and how resource extraction created complex situations for all living things. While scholarly works were changing to provide relevant material based on these themes, museums were receiving thousands of visitors every year and may have been providing the Anglo-centric view of events or creating more inclusive displays. Label texts could have been either clarifying or confusing to a history loving audience.

Three types of museums were visited to determine whether there was a difference in display based on governing body. National Park Service sites, state sponsored institutions, and local city-based museums served as the study material. The age of the existing long-term exhibits ranged from brand new to fifty-one years extant. As important to the use of New Western History themes as the term of the current exhibit was the type of governing body.

Monographs, essays, and museum exhibits are all important to the dissemination of history. How they relate and how current they are to each other creates an opportunity for both academic and museum professional historians to reflect on the delivery systems used to enlighten a history-loving public.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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What does the guidebook say?" (changing) historical memory at selected British palaces

Description

The constructing of visitor expectations and memory of historic sites is an important aspect of the heritage industry. This study examines the creation and change of dominant historical memories at

The constructing of visitor expectations and memory of historic sites is an important aspect of the heritage industry. This study examines the creation and change of dominant historical memories at four British palaces and ancestral homes. Through the close analysis of a variety of guidebooks beginning in the eighteenth century as well as other promotional materials such as websites and films, this study looks at which historical memories are emphasized for visitors and the reasons for these dominant memories. Place theorists such as Yi-Fu Tuan and Michel de Certeau as well as memory theorists such as Maurice Halbwachs, Pierre Nora, and Eric Hobsbawm have influenced the analysis of the project's sources. This inquiry focuses on four palaces: Hampton Court Palace outside London; Edinburgh Castle in the heart of Edinburgh, Scotland; Cardiff Castle in Cardiff, Wales; and Chatsworth House in Devonshire, England. The Victorians have played a large role in determining dominant memories at these sites through their interest in and focus on both the medieval period and objects in the home. Dominant memories discussed focus on the Tudors, medieval military importance, the myth and imagining of the Victorian medieval, the Regency period of Jane Austen, and elite family-home relationships. This study argues that the emphases on certain subjects allow us glimpses into the national spirit (past and present) of the peoples of Britain.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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American medievalism: medieval reenactment as historical interpretation in the United States

Description

This thesis will examine how the Middle Ages are historically interpreted and portrayed in the United States. In order to keep this study within reasonable bounds, the research will exclude

This thesis will examine how the Middle Ages are historically interpreted and portrayed in the United States. In order to keep this study within reasonable bounds, the research will exclude films, television, novels, and other forms of media that rely on the Pre-Modern period of European history for entertainment purposes. This thesis will narrow its focus on museums, non-profit organizations, and other institutions, examining their methods of research and interpretation, the levels of historical accuracy or authenticity they hold themselves to, and their levels of success. This thesis ultimately hopes to prove that the medieval period offers the same level of public interest as popular periods of American history.

This focus on reenactment serves to illustrate the need for an American audience to form a simulated connection to a historical period for which they inherently lack geographic or cultural memory. The utilization of hyperreality as described by Umberto Eco lends itself readily to this historic period, and plays to the American desire for total mimetic immersion and escapism. After examining the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition of medieval history as high art and culture, the thesis focuses on historical reenactment, as it offers a greater level of visitor interaction, first by analyzing R.G. Collingwood’s definition of “reenactment” and it’s relation to the modern application in order to establish it as a veritable academic practice.

The focus of the thesis then turns to the historical interpretation/reenactment program identified here as historical performance, which uses trained actors in controlled museum conditions to present historically accurate demonstrations meant to bring the artifacts on display to simulated life. Beginning with the template first established by the Royal Armories Museum in the United Kingdom, a comparative study utilizing research and interviews highlights the interpretative methods of the Frazier History Museum, and those of the Higgins Armory Museum. By comparing both museum’s methods, a possible template for successfully educating the American public about the European Middle Ages; while a closer examination of the Frazier Museum’s survival compared to the Higgins Armory’s termination may illustrate what future institutions must do or avoid to thrive.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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# Spectacular: art in the experience age

Description

In the 1960s, Minimal Art introduced a radical insistence on the bodily immediacy of the experience. Since then, artists have increasingly focused on the creation of immersive experiences, resulting in

In the 1960s, Minimal Art introduced a radical insistence on the bodily immediacy of the experience. Since then, artists have increasingly focused on the creation of immersive experiences, resulting in spectacular installations that fill museums, galleries, and public spaces. In this thesis, I argue that the artistic shift toward experience-based work stems from an overall revaluation of the experience as a central component of contemporary life in Western societies. Referencing sociological and economic theories, I investigate the evolving role of the art museum in the twenty-first century, as well as the introduction of new technologies that allow for unique sensorial encounters. Finally, I situate this development in both art historical and theoretical context, examining the relationship between critical distance and immersion and challenging the notion that art must become spectacle to compete with the demands of a capitalist culture.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Entering sacred ground: public history at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Description

Baseball is the quintessential American game. To understand the country one must also understand the role baseball played in the nation's maturation process. Embedded in baseball's history are (among other

Baseball is the quintessential American game. To understand the country one must also understand the role baseball played in the nation's maturation process. Embedded in baseball's history are (among other things) the stories of America's struggles with issues of race, gender, immigration, organized labor, drug abuse, and rampant consumerism. Over the better part of two centuries, the national pastime both reflected changes to American culture and helped shape them as well. Documenting these changes and packaging them for consumption is the responsibility of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. Founded as a tourist attraction promoting largely patriotic values, in recent decades the Baseball Hall of Fame made a concerted effort to transform itself into a respected member of the history museum community--dedicated to displaying American history through the lens of baseball. This dissertation explores the evolution of the Baseball Hall of Fame from celebratory shrine to history museum through an analysis of public history practice within the museum. In particular, this study examines the ways the Hall both reflected and reinforced changes to American values and ideologies through the evolution of public history practice in the museum. The primary focus of this study is the museum's exhibits and analyzing what their content and presentation convey about the social climate during the various stages of the Baseball Hall of Fame's evolution. The principal resources utilized to identify these stages include promotional materials, exhibit reviews, periodicals, and photographic records, as well as interviews with past and present Hall-of-Fame staff. What this research uncovers is the story of an institution in the midst of a slow transition. Throughout the past half century, the Hall of Fame staff struggled with a variety of obstacles to change (including the museum's traditionally conservative roots, the unquestioning devotion Americans display for baseball and its mythology, and the Hall of Fame's idyllic setting in a quaint corner of small-town America) that undermined their efforts to become the type of socially relevant institution many envisioned. Contending with these challenges continues to characterize much of the museum's operations today.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Creating to compete: juried exhibitions of Native American painting, 1946-1960

Description

In the middle of the 20th century, juried annuals of Native American painting in art museums were unique opportunities because of their select focus on two-dimensional art as opposed to

In the middle of the 20th century, juried annuals of Native American painting in art museums were unique opportunities because of their select focus on two-dimensional art as opposed to "craft" objects and their inclusion of artists from across the United States. Their first fifteen years were critical for patronage and widespread acceptance of modern easel painting. Held at the Philbrook Art Center in Tulsa (1946-1979), the Denver Art Museum (1951-1954), and the Museum of New Mexico Art Gallery in Santa Fe (1956-1965), they were significant not only for the accolades and prestige they garnered for award winners, but also for setting standards of quality and style at the time. During the early years of the annuals, the art was changing, some moving away from conventional forms derived from the early art training of the 1920s and 30s in the Southwest and Oklahoma, and incorporating modern themes and styles acquired through expanded opportunities for travel and education. The competitions reinforced and reflected a variety of attitudes about contemporary art which ranged from preserving the authenticity of the traditional style to encouraging experimentation. Ultimately becoming sites of conflict, the museums that hosted annuals contested the directions in which artists were working. Exhibition catalogs, archived documents, and newspaper and magazine articles about the annuals provide details on the exhibits and the changes that occurred over time. The museums' guidelines and motivations, and the statistics on the award winners reveal attitudes toward the art. The institutions' reactions in the face of controversy and their adjustments to the annuals' guidelines impart the compromises each made as they adapted to new trends that occurred in Native American painting over a fifteen year period. This thesis compares the approaches of three museums to their juried annuals and establishes the existence of a variety of attitudes on contemporary Native American painting from 1946-1960. Through this collection of institutional views, the competitions maintained a patronage base for traditional style painting while providing opportunities for experimentation, paving the way for the great variety and artistic progress of Native American painting today.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Engaging, educating, and evolving: a case study of three art museums in Arizona

Description

Art museums are institutions with a mission to not only preserve art and culture for the public, but to provide visitors with an educational experience. This qualitative case study includes

Art museums are institutions with a mission to not only preserve art and culture for the public, but to provide visitors with an educational experience. This qualitative case study includes three art museums in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area: a university art museum, a large public museum in Downtown Phoenix, and a contemporary art museum in the city of Scottsdale. This research study sought to identify the ways in which eight art museum employees from the education and administration departments identify their institutions as educational. Data was collected and analyzed through the methods of direct observations and field notes, one-on-one interviews, and photographs of educational programming.

After examining these art museums and conducting eight interviews, a description of each observation is displayed using examples of photographs and field notes. Although findings suggest a variety of educational programs for a range of visitors in each institution, all three museums offered comparable programs, activities, and events. This research study revealed similar ideas, themes, and perspectives between art museum educators and administrators. Findings indicate the importance of collaboration between both museum departments in order to ensure the success of their museums. All eight participants in the study had a passion for art and art museums as well as visitor education. Additionally, participants had concurrent thoughts in their interviews regarding concepts of educational programming, cultural diversity approaches, art museum fundamental roles, and overall educational goals.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018