Extreme Collecting: Challenging Practices for 21st Century Museums

Front Cover
Graeme Were, J. C. H. King
Berghahn Books, Mar 30, 2012 - Art - 248 pages
0 Reviews

By exploring the processes of collecting, which challenge the bounds of normally acceptable practice, this book debates the practice of collecting 'difficult' objects, from a historical and contemporary perspective; and discusses the acquisition of objects related to war and genocide, and those purchased from the internet, as well as considering human remains, mass produced objects and illicitly traded antiquities. The aim is to apply a critical approach to the rigidity of museums in maintaining essentially nineteenth-century ideas of collecting; and to move towards identifying priorities for collection policies in museums, which are inclusive of acquiring 'difficult' objects. Much of the book engages with the question of the limits to the practice of collecting as a means to think through the implementation of new strategies.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Extreme Collecting Dealing with Difficult Objects
1
Part I Difficult Objects
17
1 The Material Culture of Persecution
19
2 Lyricism and Offence in Egyptian Archaeology Collections
37
3 Contested Human Remains
49
4 Extreme or Commonplace
57
5 Unfit for Society?
75
Part II Mass Produced
91
8 Awkward Objects
112
9 Great Expectations and Modest Transactions
131
Part III Extreme Matters
155
10 Extremes of Collecting at the Imperial War Museum 19172009
157
11 Plastics Why Not?
168
12 Time Capsules as Extreme Collecting
181
13 Canning Cans a Brand New Way of Looking at History
203
Notes on Contributors
223

6 Knowing the New
93
7 The Global Scope of Extreme Collecting
102

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Graeme Were is the director of the Museum Studies postgraduate programme at the University of Queensland. His current research focuses on material culture and ethnographic museums; digital heritage and source community engagement; and, ethnomathematics in the Pacific. His recent publications include Lines that Connect: Rethinking Pattern and Mind in the Pacific (University of Hawai'i Press, 2010), and Pacific Pattern, with S. Küchler (Thames & Hudson, 2005). He is a Fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute and an editor of the Journal of Material Culture.

J. C. H. King writes about the art and material culture of Native North America, and is interested in wider issues of museum ethnography, cultural policy and the visual arts, and the collection of contemporary art, photography, and ephemera. He became research Keeper of Anthropology at the British Museum, in 2010. His recent publications include: Three Centuries of Woodlands Art: A Collection of Essays (European Review of Native American Studies, 2007), ed. with C.F. Feest, Provenance: Twelve Collectors of Ethnographic Art in England 1760–1990, with H. Waterfield (Somogy, 2006) and Arctic Clothing, ed. with B. Pauksztat and R. Storrie (British Museum Press, 2005).

Bibliographic information