Download Defining Memory: Local Museums and the Construction of by Amy K. Levin, David Kyvig PDF

By Amy K. Levin, David Kyvig

Publish 12 months note: First released in December twenty eighth 2006
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Defining Memory makes use of case stories of shows from round the kingdom 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 means 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 artwork.

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Extra info for Defining Memory: Local Museums and the Construction of History in America's Changing Communities

Sample text

Finally, the aesthetic dimension strongly guides assessments by staff and visitors. Lacking regular visitor surveys or exit interviews, staff know the exhibitions are good in aesthetic terms, tempered by their appreciation, as historians, of the value of objects. 10 Thus, the Geneva History Center demonstrates how Huebner’s five rationales can work as evaluative criteria for local museums. The Louisiana Art and Folk Festival Museum may be richly, though differently, understood in Huebner’s scheme.

The Geneva History Center packs a remarkable amount of story into a small space. It has moved from its home in a city park building to a more professionally designed space downtown, but this chapter addresses its original, more homemade, venue (in the past tense) and design as well as its ongoing mission. Its exhibition area consisted of two rooms totaling about 2,000 square feet. Its director, a professionally trained historian with a graduate degree in historical administration, is committed to the museum’s mission: to tell Geneva’s history.

This is an interesting challenge. The setting was clear—a building adapted for this special collection and designated as a museum that welcomed locals and strangers. The subject matter was problematic: ostensibly, it was the history of the area as seen in its folk art, loosely defined. The content consisted of artifacts reflecting the history of this community, but since the objects were arranged in a non-narrative way with no clear story line, the subject of this museum was not really clear. What did a person learn from a visit to the Louisiana Art and Folk Festival Museum?

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