By Sharon Macdonald
What is going on in the back of closed doorways at museums? How are judgements approximately exhibitions made and who, or what, fairly makes them? Why are convinced gadgets and forms of demonstrate selected when others are rejected, and what elements impact how museum exhibitions are produced and skilled? This booklet solutions those looking questions via giving a privileged glance ‘behind the scenes’ on the technology Museum in London. through monitoring the historical past of a selected exhibition, Macdonald takes the reader into the area of the museum curator and exhibits in vibrant element how exhibitions are created and the way public tradition is produced. She unearths why exhibitions don't continuously mirror their makers’ unique intentions and why viewers take domestic specific interpretations. past this ‘local’ context, besides the fact that, the e-book additionally offers vast and far-reaching insights into how nationwide and worldwide political shifts impression the production of public wisdom via exhibitions
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Additional info for Behind the Scenes at the Science Museum
The coachloads of excited schoolchildren, and the families emerging from the tube station exits, are probably making for the Science Museum or the Natural History Museum; the women with hats and arty ear-rings are on their way to the V&A, as are the art-students with their portfolios; the men wearing tweed jackets, air-soled shoes and taking long strides are probably curatorial staff from the Science or Natural History; and those with dark suits and shiny shoes could well be the new breed of marketing staff.
Has managed to keep the British Museum an oasis of scholarly calm while the rest of us are rushing around embracing versions of Thatcherism’. Lined up here, then, were lines of opposition which were the subject of constant debate among museum staff at the time: traditional curatorial, scholarly and research functions of museums, coupled with free public admission on the one side, and popularisation, reorganisation, enterprise and charges on the other. Although Dr Cossons came from an academic and curatorial background, with degrees and publications in economic geography and industrial archaeology, and although he tried to challenge this polarisation, it was for initiating change and promoting popularization in the museum world that he had largely come to stand.
That Britain, while claiming to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and a leading nation in technological development, had no similar permanent national museum for exhibiting its achievements was described as a ‘scandal’ in a document presented to the government in 1911. Due to difficulties over securing a site and the interruption to all plans on account of the First World War, it was to be more than a decade before the East Hall was finally opened; even then, all of the projected buildings had not been completed.