The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics

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Routledge, 1995 - Art - 278 pages
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In a series of richly detailed case studies from Britian, Australia and North America, Tony Bennett investigates how nineteenth- and twentieth-century museums, fairs and exhibitions have organized their collections, and their visitors.

Discussing the historical development of museums alongside that of the fair and the international exhibition, Bennett sheds new light upon the relationship between modern forms of official and popular culture.

Using Foucaltian perspectives The Birth of the Museum explores how the public museum should be understood not just as a place of instruction, but as a reformatory of manners in which a wide range of regulated social routines and performances take place.

This invigorating study enriches and challenges the understanding of the museum, and places it at the centre of modern relations between culture and government. For students of museum, cultural and sociology studies, this will be an asset to their reading list.

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About the author (1995)

Tony Bennett grew up in Astoria, Queens, during the Great Depression in a family of Italian immigrants. After serving as an infantryman in World War II, he studied singing and then signed with Columbia Records, releasing his first hit in 1951. Over the course of his sixty-year career, he has sold millions of albums; has earned multiple platinum and gold records; has won two Emmy Awards and seventeen Grammys, including the Recording Academy's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award; and was named a Kennedy Center Honoree.

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