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Museums, objects and collections - Susan M Pearce

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Museums, objects and collections - a cultural study
Susan M Pearce
Paperback / softback
Leicester University Press
UK Publication Date

Museums hold the collected objects that have come to us from the past, and which now constitute one of the most important ways in which we can understand that past. Museums are social phenomena characteristic of the modernist Western tradition, and their collections of both human and natural history material are a significant part of how that tradition has shaped itself.;This book explores the nature of museums, of their collections and of the objects which form these collections; the psychological and social reasons why people collect; and the nature of relics, fetishes and systematic assemblages. It considers the nature of the curatorial process and the narratives it produces: collections in store, acquisition and disposal, documentary description and exhibition. It discusses how museum objects operate as signs and symbols, as mediators of a functionalist perspective in a world of goods, and as actors in the process of change. It examines the relationship between museums, museum objects and ideology and concludes with an attempt to define the curatorial project.

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Keyword Index
Museums - Philosophy.|Museums - Social aspects.|Collectors and collecting - Psychological aspects.
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