Civilizing the Museum: The Collected Writings of Elaine Heumann Gurian

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Taylor & Francis, 2006 - Architecture - 217 pages
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Written over a thirty-five year career, the essays in Civilizing the Museum introduce students to the powerful, sometimes contested, and often unrealized notion that museums should welcome all because they house the collective memory of all.

Drawing on her experience working in and with museums in the US and throughout the world, Author Elaine Heumann Gurian explores the possibilities for making museums more central and relevant to society.

The twenty-two essays are organized around five main themes:

* museum definitions
* civic responsibility and social service
* architectural spaces
* exhibitions
* spirituality and rationality.

And these themes address the elements that would make museums more inclusive such as:

* exhibition technique
* space configurations
* the personality of the director
* the role of social service
* power sharing
* types of museums
* the need for emotion humour and spirituality.

Without abandoning the traditional museum processes, Gurian shows how museums can honour tradition whilst embracing the new.

Enriched by her experience in groundbreaking museums, Gurian has provided a book that provokes thought, dialogue and action for students and professionals in the field to realize the inclusive potential of museums.

 

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Contents

museum field
4
The molting of childrens museums?
19
What is the object of this exercise? A meandering
33
an opinion about museum
48
PART II
67
The opportunity for social service 1991
82
PART III
97
architecture program planning 2005
115
a paean
167
A blurring of the boundaries 1994
171
PART V
187
the important changes
194
a biographic meaning
200
Bibliography
207
Index
214
Copyright

PART IV
135

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