Interpreting Objects and Collections (Leicester Readers in Museum Studies)
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This volume brings together for the first time the most significant papers on the interpretation of objects and collections and examines how people relate to material culture and why they collect things.
The first section of the book discusses the interpretation of objects, setting the philosophical and historical context of object interpretation. Papers are included which discuss objects variously as historical documents, functioning material, and as semiotic texts, as well as those which examine the politics of objects and the methodology of object study.
The second section, on the interpretation of collections, looks at the study of collections in their historical and conceptual context. Many topics are covered such as the study of collecting to structure individual identity, its affect on time and space and the construction of gender. There are also papers discussing collection and ideology, collection and social action and the methodology of collection study.
This unique anthology of articles and extracts will be of inestimable value to all students and professionals involved in the interpretation of objects and collections.
evidently enjoyed a large measure of freedom. In 1565 his first printed work, today’s oldest known museological tract, appeared in quarto. It was printed in the ‘Adam Bergschen Offizin’ in Munich with the Emperor Maximilian II’s approval and has the title Inscriptiones vel tituli theatri amplissimi… Quiccheberg divides the contents of his ‘Theatrum’, covering sixty-two pages, into four chapters. In the first chapter he identifies the five main fields of collection (‘classes’) of the whole of the
the underclass felt for the ideals of the 23 Susan M.Pearce French Revolution and for Napoleon as their glorious embodiment (Folk Songs of Great Britain, vol. 8, ‘A soldier’s life for me’, Topic Records, 1961): 1 Attention pay, both young and old, To these few lines that I unfold. It is the deeds of great Napoleon I’m going to relate. He was a gallant Corsican, As ever stood on Europe’s land, I’m inclined to sing his praises, So noble was his heart, For in every battle manfully He strove to
frequency of occurrence, followed in turn by a gradual disappearance. If such an assumption is true, it follows that a series of sites can be arranged so that all artefact types within them form single peaked curves of popularity over time. Such an arrangement is chronological and tells the archaeologist how his sites relate to one another in time. By plotting style sequences in this manner in a number of cemeteries we find that the assumption, not previously measured with such a degree of
sea woman had ivory tusks, while the walrus had antlers. These were dangerous to hunters, who were stabbed by the tusked caribou and had their kayaks overturned by the antlered walrus. An old man changed the tusks and antlers around, and created the animals in their present forms which are not as dangerous to his fellow male hunters. The arguments presented above should not be considered as anything like a thorough structural analysis of Inuit mythology or custom, and the interpretations differ
one way or another, critical of anthropology. How then do we proceed? Criticizing our past is the first step; reconstructing for the future is perhaps the next. Criticism also needs to be placed in perspective, and with some limits placed upon it, for museums alone cannot shoulder all the burdens of the past. Although there is much that museums have done wrong, or did not do at all, they also do some things right. Thus, when mounting criticisms it helps to recognize not only the bad and the ugly