Author : Simon J. Knell
Publisher : Ashgate Pub Limited
Release : 1999
Page : 216 pages
Rating : 4.5/5 from voters
Collecting is a key function of museums. Its apparent simpliciety belies a complexity of questions and issues which make all collecting imprecise and unrepresentative. This book exposes the many meanings of collections, the different perspectives taken by different cultures, and the institutional response to the collecting problem. One major concern is omission, whether this be determined by politics, professional ethics, the law or social agenda. It is easy for museums to be blind to such things or afraid to confront them. How did curators collect during the war in Croatia? What were the problems of trying to collect the old South Africa when the new one was born? Can museums collect from groups which seem to deviate from society's norms? How has the function of museums affected the practices of international trade? Can museums collect successfully if collecting agenda are being set externally?