Behind the Scenes at the Science Museum (Materializing by Sharon Macdonald

By Sharon Macdonald

What is going on at the back of closed doorways at museums? How are judgements approximately exhibitions made and who, or what, rather makes them? Why are yes gadgets and kinds of exhibit selected while others are rejected, and what components impression how museum exhibitions are produced and skilled? This ebook solutions those looking questions via giving a privileged glance ‘behind the scenes’ on the technology Museum in London. by way of monitoring the background of a selected exhibition, Macdonald takes the reader into the realm of the museum curator and indicates in vibrant aspect how exhibitions are created and the way public tradition is produced. She unearths why exhibitions don't constantly replicate their makers’ unique intentions and why viewers take domestic specific interpretations. past this ‘local’ context, besides the fact that, the publication additionally offers large and far-reaching insights into how nationwide and worldwide political shifts impression the construction of public wisdom via exhibitions.

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The book mainly keeps production, text and consumption separate, partly because there is a narrative development following the time-plotted process built into the structuring of my account, but also because it allows the finished exhibition and visitors to intrude into production where this helps throw questions into relief. Similarly, while I focus mainly on particular themes – otherwise I feared that the narrative would read too much like a set of details (complexity can overwhelm) – I also try to convey a sense of the narrative.

43 This entailed not only a representation of popular culture but also allowed exhibition space to be used by those not normally able to do so (or who perhaps did not even visit museums). As such, this too was part of a broader and much discussed development: the attempt to open up museums to previously absent or only passively represented groups. 44 Feminist, post-colonial and social history perspectives were also increasingly in evidence at museum conferences and in articles and reviews in professional museum literature such as the Museums Journal.

17 Showing the role of the technologies in everyday life, albeit within a very clear narrative of technological improvement, was at the time considered a daring new dimension to Science Museum display. Although the Children’s Gallery contained some objects from the Museum collections, there were by no means as many of them as in other galleries in the Museum. To this extent it was a portent of what was to become much more widespread – though never ubiquitous and never uncontested – in the Museum as styles of presentation intended to convey more ‘context’, such as dioramas, were increasingly introduced over the following years.

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