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Museums and the Interpretation of Visual Culture (Museum Meanings) [Hardcover]

Eilean Hooper-Greenhill
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

28 Sep 2000 Museum Meanings (Book 4)

This is a multi-disciplinary study that adopts an innovative and original approach to a highly topical question, that of meaning-making in museums, focusing its attention on pedagogy and visual culture.

This work explores such questions as:

  • How and why is it that museums select and arrange artefacts, shape knowledge, construct a view?
  • How do museums produce values?
  • How do active audiences make meaning from what they experience in museums?

This stimulating book provokes debate and discussion on these topics and puts forward the idea of a new museum - the post-museum, which will challenge the familiar modernist museum.  A must for students and professionals in the field.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (28 Sep 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415086329
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415086325
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 17.8 x 24.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,160,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Eilean Hooper-Greenhill has taught in schools, colleges, museums and galleries. She has been lecturing in the Department of Museum Studies, University of Leicester since 1980 and took over as Head of Department in 1996. Her principle publications are Museums and the Shaping of Knowledge (Routledge, 1992), Museums and their Visitors (Routledge, 1994) and her edited collections are Museum, Media, Message (Routledge, 1995) and The Educational Role of Museums, 2nd Edition (Routledge, 1999).

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
In this book, Hooper-Greenhill focuses on the concept of knowledge, how it is constructed by museums relying on their collections, and how it is received by their visitors.

The contrast the author creates between the modernist museum and the post-modern museum is key throughout the book, with case studies looking at specific artefacts and how they have been inserted into 'master narratives' authored by museum professionals. This contrast relies on the transition from modernism to post-modernism.

Because the book was written in 2000, it is also somewhat speculative, with imagining or recommending what future museums could do, could look like to be as relevant as possible to their environment.

It is a good read, if only to understand how case studies can be written in a museum studies oriented analysis.

1. Culture and meaning in the museum, 1
2. Picturing the ancestors and imag(in)ing the nation: the collections of the first decade of the National Portrait Gallery, London, 23
3. Speaking for herself? Hinemihi and her discourses, 49
4. Words and things: constructing narratives, constructing the self, 76
5. Objects and interpretive processes, 103
6. Exhibitions and interpretation: museum pedagogy and cultural change, 124
7. The rebirth of the museum, 151
Notes, 163
Bibliography, 176
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hooper Greenhill 7 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book focuses on objects and meaning in museums and how this is affected by pedagogy and visual culture. Hooper Greenhill explores specific objects and collections in detail ranging from The Founding collections at National Gallery to The Lakota Ghost Dance Shirt. Chapter 5, `Objects and interpretive processes', which is particularly useful, looks at how the meanings of objects are constructed through an interpretive framework. Objects are locations at which discursive formation traverses with physical properties (Crary, 1990, cited in Hooper- Greenhill 2000). The text interrogates the definition of the word' Object' and the historical development of object pedagogy in museums from the late 19th century to 2000. Hooper-Greenhill makes a distinction between objects as including natural material and artefacts as things that are made by people. I am doing some research on object-based art and I found the chapter on objects very useful background reading
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