The Emergence of the Modern Museum: An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Sources

The Emergence of the Modern Museum: An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Sources

by Jonah Siegel


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The Emergence of the Modern Museum, a unique compendium of original sources, presents a detailed and dynamic account of the development of the museum and its practices in Britain during a crucial period of formation. From poignant recollections of visits to stately homes to charged debates about the acquisition of the Elgin Marbles or the establishment of an Indian Museum; from early catalogue entries describing the curiosities discovered by Captain Cook to later ones organizing human skulls according to Darwinian principles-this volume offers a representative sample of the diverse, contentious, and often moving ideas that have shaped the modern institution. With original selections, thematic organization, and insightful critical apparatus, this collection makes newly available a wide range of material, including proposals for reform laid out in parliamentary papers, essays by influential theorists and curators, and firsthand accounts of museum-going in the popular press.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199733576
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 08/12/2009
Pages: 404
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Jonah Siegel Siegel is Professor of English at Rutgers University and President of the Northeast Victorian Studies Association. He is the author of Haunted Museum: Longing, Travel, and the Art-Romance Tradition and Desire & Excess: The Nineteenth-Century Culture of Art.

Table of Contents


Part One: From Collection to Museum
1. Private Collections
2. Towards a Public Art Collection
3. The Public in the Museum

Part Two: Rationalizing the National Collections
4. Art and the National Gallery
5. Natural History and the British Museum
6. Pedagogy: South Kensington and the Provinces
7. Reform and Psychology of Museum Attendance
8. From Wonders to Signs: Anthropology and Archeology
9. Exhibiting India

Glossary of Frequently Cited Collectors and Collections
Contributors and Witnesses
Suggestions for Further Reading

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