Inside the Lost Museum: Curating, Past and Present (Hardback)Steven D. Lubar (author)
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Curators make many decisions when they build collections or design exhibitions, plotting a passage of discovery that also tells an essential story. Collecting captures the past in a way useful to the present and the future. Exhibits play to our senses and orchestrate our impressions, balancing presentation and preservation, information and emotion. Curators consider visitors' interactions with objects and with one another, how our bodies move through displays, how our eyes grasp objects, how we learn and how we feel. Inside the Lost Museum documents the work museums do and suggests ways these institutions can enrich the educational and aesthetic experience of their visitors.
Woven throughout Inside the Lost Museum is the story of the Jenks Museum at Brown University, a nineteenth-century display of natural history, anthropology, and curiosities that disappeared a century ago. The Jenks Museum's past, and a recent effort by artist Mark Dion, Steven Lubar, and their students to reimagine it as art and history, serve as a framework for exploring the long record of museums' usefulness and service.
Museum lovers know that energy and mystery run through every collection and exhibition. Lubar explains work behind the scenes--collecting, preserving, displaying, and using art and artifacts in teaching, research, and community-building--through historical and contemporary examples. Inside the Lost Museum speaks to the hunt, the find, and the reveal that make curating and visiting exhibitions and using collections such a rewarding and vital pursuit.
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Number of pages: 416
Dimensions: 230 x 160 mm
Inside the Lost Museum ably demonstrates that Steven Lubar is among the most perceptive historians thinking and writing about the American museum today. Equipped with intimate knowledge from years at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Lubar connects the history of early museums to what currently transpires behind the scenes, as staff debate ideas for exhibitions, wrestle with ethical dilemmas, and attempt to foster greater public participation than ever before.--Kym Rice, Assistant Director for Academic Affairs, Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, George Washington University
Inside the Lost Museum is a book worth wandering through, much like the capacious institutions whose histories and futures it contemplates...[A]thoughtful and feeling survey of changing practices of curation in American museums of all sorts.--Christopher H. Heaney"Journal of Social History" (12/14/2017)
Offers illuminating chapters on key curatorial questions about museum life...Lubar's highly accessible book sits comfortably on museum-studies shelves alongside such works as Stephen Weil's Making Museums Matter, Nina Simon's The Participatory Museum, and Adrian George's The Curator's Handbook...It could be of practical interest to people who participate in any organization, large or small, devoted to preserving or displaying art or artifacts.--Amy Henderson"Weekly Standard" (11/03/2017)