Read e-book online Defining Memory: Local Museums and the Construction of PDF

By Amy K. Levin

Defining Memory makes use of case reports of shows from round the nation to ascertain how neighborhood museums, outlined as museums whose collections are neighborhood in scope or whose audiences are basically neighborhood, have either formed and been formed by way of evolving group values and experience of historical past. Levin and her members argue that those small associations play a key position in defining America's self-identity and will be studied as heavily as extra nationwide associations just like the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of paintings.

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Over 450 Pieces—Hand Carved Limestone,” all the work of one sculptor. Inez Marshall was a former truck driver who began carving (a limestone squirrel, using her father’s knife) while in her twenties and recovering from a broken back. She saw sculpting as a God-given talent and made it her life’s work, taking instructions from God to create a collection that she claimed numbered 450, although when it was inventoried after she suffered a stroke at 77, the pieces totaled 68. The museum, housed in a former service station in a prairie town of 150, miles from anywhere, housed her whole collection and at least one work in progress (the wheel for a life-sized Harley-Davidson motorcycle).

Some specimens 22 AMY K. LEVIN were de-accessioned; tools were kept for their antiquarian value; and the institution came to be seen as a small, local institution, part of Walter Reed Medical Hospital, rather than serving a major national mission. The medical museum resembles the DUP galleries in that it has lost some of its connection to its original mission, and some of its display methods may seem antiquated. However, it deserves a chapter of its own because it addresses issues particular to institutions that have displayed human remains (like Dickson Mounds) and to those that originally had visions of national prominence.

26 AMY K. LEVIN 8. Eric Gable, “Maintaining Boundaries, or ‘Mainstreaming’ Black History into a White Museum,” in Museum Theory, ed. Sharon Macdonald and Gordon Fyfe, 177–202 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1996). 9. Seth Koven, “The Whitechapel Picture Exhibitions and the Politics of Seeing,” in Museum Culture: Histories, Discourses, Spectacles, ed. Daniel Sherman and Irit Rogoff, 22–48 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994). 1 We can all think of many kinds of museums that seem to be “small,” regardless of budget, floor space, staff size, or other criteria.

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