"This account captures a fresh, multi–disciplinary approach to the study of the development, roles, and significance of museums in our society. It expands museum studies and presents a wide range of theoretical perspectives. The essays examine the complexity of the museum from cultural, political governance, curatorial, historical, and representational perspectives, Sharon Macdonald is the author and Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Manchester." (Neopoprealism Journal, 24 November 2011)
The collection is not primarily a compendium of the work of ethnographers. The group of scholars Macdonald brought together reflects the current makeup of museum studies as an interdisciplinary endeavor. (Museum Anthropology, April 2009)
"Required reading for museum professionals and scholars in museum studies, art and cultural history, sociology of art, and anthropology ... The text is rich in information and diverse in perspectives; it both introduces and complicates in an intriguing and necessary way what we ′know′ about museums ... Essential." (Choice)
This is a wonderfully comprehensive collection of essays, offering diverse perspectives, covering all aspects of the museum profession, and addressing contemporary and historical discourse It really is the best compendium I ve read in years. (Museums Australia)
No one is better qualified than Sharon Macdonald to create this definitive companion to museum studies. The field has not only come of age but has also burgeoned in all directions. How wise then to capture the vibrancy of its interdisciplinarity by assembling the work of a veritable who s who of museum studies. Each voice is at once distinct and in dialogue and debate with others. A vital text for the field. Barbara Kirshenblatt–Gimblett, New York University
A Companion to Museum Studies is an indispensable guide to what has come to be called the New Museology. This set of papers by some of the most distinguished scholars of museums examines museums, displays and exhibits from the perspectives of different disciplines. No one attempting to study or teach about museums will be able to do without this aptly named Companion. It will be both guide and landmark in museum studies for years to come.
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Ivan Karp, Emory University