-> MUSEUMS AND ART GALLERIES
(Total: 38 journals)
- Dis/Solution: Lina Bo Bardi’s Museu de Arte de São Paulo
Authors: Stephen Mark Caffey; Gabriela Campagnol
Abstract: The year 2014 marked the centenary of the birth of Roman-born Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi. Among the best known of Lina’s many contributions to Brazilian modernism is Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP). Begun in 1957 and opened in 1968, MASP flouted European museological and museographical conventions, dissolving structural, temporal and hierarchical boundaries. Lina’s expressive architectonic forms and revolutionary exhibition scheme allowed the works in the MASP collection to literally stand on their own as objects liberated completely from chronological, connoisseurial and scholarly classification systems. Lina designed MASP to provoke ‘reactions of curiosity and investigation’ by redefining notions of space and form within and beyond the context of the museum as mausoleum, archive and treasury. This collaborative analysis examines the philosophical, theoretical, practical and formal elements of what John Cage purportedly characterized as ‘the architecture of freedom’. Toward that end, this article situates MASP and its collections within broader historical discourses of museum practice to reveal the transgressive genius of Lina’s architectural and museal gestures. We conclude with a discussion of current debates surrounding the conventionalization of MASP’s exhibition protocols, considered in the contexts of conservation and proposed changes to the structure and its immediate urban setting.
PubDate: Mon, 16 Mar 2015 09:58:43 +000
- The Formation of Microenvironments in Polyester Enclosures
Authors: Paul Garside; Olivia Walker
Abstract: Inert polyester sheets, such as Melinex and Mylar, are widely used in conservation to create envelope-like enclosures for storing and protecting flat objects (paper, parchment, papyrus, etc.). These materials are known to be chemically stable and present no direct risks to the enclosed items; however, as the films have a low permeability, such enclosures may lead to the creation of internal microenvironments. This will both limit the response to external changes and potentially trap any internally generated volatiles with the object. The likelihood of different forms of enclosures doing so is investigated in this paper. The resulting data will help to inform decisions about choices of construction of enclosures for particular objects, environments and purposes.
PubDate: Thu, 12 Mar 2015 13:47:37 +000
- Can Paper and Adhesive alone Sustain Damaging Populations of Booklice?
Authors: Paul Walter Charles Green; Dudley I Farman
Abstract: Booklice (Liposcelis bostrychophila) are pests in museums and libraries, but it is not known whether a population can build up on paper and adhesives alone in the absence of any other significant nutrient sources. Insects were reared on incubated cellulose paper, either alone or combined with different adhesives, in order to observe if any of these conditions could support population growth. A comparison was also made with insects reared on samples of paper combined with a diet mixture used to culture booklice. Changes in the physical condition of each paper were additionally noted. The paper with diet mixture exhibited significant population increase (6142 per cent) after 49 days. The paper alone and the combinations of paper and adhesives were not able to support population growth, although the proportions of insects surviving after ten months differed, with the paper alone and paper in combination with proprietary starch-based glue (SBG) maintaining the greatest proportions of surviving insects. The paper and adhesives had become discoloured and brittle in all of the combinations tested, although there was very little visible evidence of fungal growth outside of the control groups (paper alone). Chemical indicators of paper degradation were not detected in extracts of incubated paper (paper alone). Controlled atmospheres, good housekeeping and close monitoring of the most vulnerable collections are key to preventing infestations of Liposcelis bostrychophila. Further work is required to study the effects of a more diverse range of paper and adhesive combinations.
PubDate: Thu, 12 Mar 2015 09:37:10 +000
- The Dark Value of Criminal Bodies: Context, Consent, and the Disturbing
Sale of John Parker’s Skull
Authors: Shane McCorristine
Abstract: The recent sale of a human skull at an auction in Sussex should raise ethical concerns. Whenever human body parts are sold or put in a glass case and displayed for public view people should be provided with context and extensively informed about what they see. The gaze is never innocent, and to ignore the particular journeys that body parts take into auction rooms, anatomy departments, and museums is to be complicit in acts of historical injustice. In this case the skull was that of John Parker, who was executed by hanging in 1813. The likelihood that this was illicitly obtained by medical professionals means that the sale of the skull at auction two hundred years later is fraught with ethical problems. Along with a discussion of context, fragments like Parker’s skull must therefore also become part of a debate about consent. Issues of context and consent can help us think about the display of human remains in museums in a manner that is intimate and ‘disturbingly informative’ (Mütter Museum 2014). However, the sale of Parker’s skull – described as an ‘antique piece’ in the press coverage (BBC News 2014) – is a reminder that the global marketplace in objectified body parts is disturbing in quite a different manner.
PubDate: Mon, 09 Feb 2015 10:40:10 +000
- The Body in the Museum
Authors: Jamie Larkin
Abstract: Museum Bodies: The Politics and Practices of Visiting and Viewing, Leahy, H R, Farnham: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 216 pages, 2012
PubDate: Fri, 09 Jan 2015 11:41:25 +000
- Whole-Drawer Imaging of Entomological Collections: Benefits, Limitations
and Alternative Applications
Authors: Oleksandr Holovachov; Andriy Zatushevsky, Ihor Shydlovsky
Abstract: This paper examines current progress in whole-drawer imaging (digitization) of insect collections, and the advantages and disadvantages of different methods used. Based on their own experiences in whole-drawer imaging and the subsequent curatorship of virtual collections the authors discuss: 1) possible modifications of the technique suitable for small collections and museums, 2) optical limitations of the technique, 3) advantages and disadvantages of curating virtual collections, and 4) other possible applications of whole-drawer imaging.
PubDate: Wed, 29 Oct 2014 13:02:31 +000
- The Public Domain vs. the Museum: The Limits of Copyright and
Reproductions of Two-dimensional Works of Art
Authors: Grischka Petri
Abstract: The problem of museums and public institutions handling reproductions of works in their collections is not only a legal question but also one of museum ethics. Public museums are committed to spreading knowledge and to making their collections accessible. When it comes to images of their holdings, however, they often follow a restrictive policy. Even for works in the public domain they claim copyright for their reproductive photographs. This paper offers an analysis of the different interests at stake, a short survey of important cases, and practical recommendations.
PubDate: Thu, 28 Aug 2014 14:45:26 +000
- A Nanochemist and a Nanohumanist Take a Walk Through the German Museum: An
Analysis of the Popularization of Nanoscience and Technology in Germany
Authors: Paul A Youngman; Ljiljana Fruk
This paper is an analysis of the NST (Nanoscience and Technology) exhibit at the DM (Deutsches Museum) from the point of view of a German studies scholar and a nanoscientist. Established in 2005, the exhibit and its associated lectures, tours, and documentation purport to make the public more familiar with the new technology and its applications. Our task was to evaluate the science as it is presented and, equally importantly, the story the museum tells about NST, since science can never be isolated from its cultural narrative; it can never be culled from the culture in which it is embedded despite our penchant for a neat division between these two realms. By evaluating the science as it is presented in the museum and considering it within its German cultural context, we offer an analytical overview of NST in the public sphere. Secondly, we cast our eye toward discerning the ‘why’ of the exhibit. Is it designed to civilize and enlighten and thus empower the public in their understanding of NST as an emerging technology' Does the exhibit have a propagandistic aspect designed to sway the public in hope of avoiding the difficult struggles that have embroiled emergent technologies in the past' Or, is the nanoexhibit a hybrid of each approach intended to both enlighten and sway'
PubDate: Mon, 21 Jul 2014 14:51:33 +000
- Conservation in Museums and Inclusion of the Non-Professional
Authors: Jill Saunders
Abstract: Just as object meanings are defined by people, so too can identities of individuals, groups and communities be implicit in their relationships with particular objects. The transformative quality of the museum environment and display formats, with regard to objects and object relationships, is fundamental to the socio-cultural responsibilities of these institutions and their ability to affect social issues. To understand the potential utility of heritage conservation in this respect, it is necessary to explore the complexity of the relationships that can form between objects and people and so establish some key issues and implications of conservation activities.
This paper first addresses the role of materiality and material interactions in the construction and communication of identity aspects, and considers professional conservation with regard to these relationships. It will be shown that material interactions can have great significance concerning identity and that the subjectivity of object values is a key issue in the conservation of material heritage. It will be seen that though the management of heritage can be problematic, the resonance of heritage status gives museums a unique capacity for addressing both intangible and tangible social needs.
PubDate: Fri, 06 Jun 2014 11:46:46 +000
- Codes of Ethics and Museum Research
Authors: Alexandra Bounia
Abstract: This paper aims to focus on museum codes of ethics and discuss their provisions on museum research. Museum research is an important part of museum work; it is an ethical responsibility of museum professionals to perform this work for society and to encourage this undertaking in their institutions by other stakeholders. But how do codes of ethics in their current form encourage that' Instead of promoting a contemporary idea of research – multi-faceted, complex, open to the participation of many different interested parties, such as different professionals and communities of knowledge – they seem to understand research as a rather single-faceted phenomenon, object-oriented and collections-based. If codes of ethics are the epitome of museum professionalism and museum values, then these ethics should be embodied in new provisions for museum research. Notions like social inclusion, public accountability, and transparency, are central in museum research, and should be included in all codes of ethics as well, reflecting the efforts museums make to embody democratic ideals and share both research and writing of history with their audience, thus creating communities of knowledge. This paper aims to contribute to the debate on museum codes of ethics and to provide some ideas for future revisions.
PubDate: Tue, 27 May 2014 12:01:07 +000
- Exhibition Ethics - An Overview of Major Issues
Authors: Andromache Gazi
Abstract: Museum ethics are about value judgements. In making such judgements museum personnel is constantly valuing one option over another. This holds true for every aspect of museum work; from collecting policies and conservation to store priorities and exhibition. In recent decades there has been a growing concern in addressing ethical issues in museums as museum workers have developed cultural sensitivity and social responsiveness to a degree unseen before. Most codes of ethics urge museums to give appropriate consideration to represented groups or beliefs. In light of this, it has been recognised that exhibition of sensitive material, for example, must be done with great tact and respect for the feelings of religious, ethnic or other groups represented. Another issue concerns the display of unprovenanced material and repatriation.
Yet, these are not the only ethical issues which exhibition developers are faced with. As museum workers we should constantly be reminded that exhibitions are active agents in the construction of knowledge. This paper discusses the hidden assumptions on which museum presentation and interpretation are often based. Decisions about what to include and what to exclude, what is valued and what is not, the means of presentation, language, and so on, all lead to presentational styles which may shape the public’s perception in unintended ways.
PubDate: Thu, 08 May 2014 14:06:41 +000
- Ethics in Action at the Refurbished Archaeological Museum of Ioannina,
Authors: Eleni Vasileiou
Abstract: The first exhibition of the Archaeological Museum of Ioannina (nothwestern Greece) was inaugurated in 1970, in a building designed by the Greek architect Aris Konstantinidis. The museum closed in 2003 in order to be refurbished. Five years later (2008), the new exhibition was completed following the latest museological trends with a focus on the education of a diverse public and with awareness of the museum’s role as keeper of the collective memory.
This article deals with the application of the ICOM Code of Ethics in the refurbished Archaeological Museum of Ioannina. More specifically, it examines the way in which the museum’s new exhibition applies display methods and undertakes educational activities in order to accomplish its role as an educational institution.
PubDate: Mon, 10 Mar 2014 11:53:26 +000
- Museum Education and Archaeological Ethics: An Approach to the Illicit
Trade of Antiquities
Authors: Vasilike Argyropoulos; Eleni Aloupi-Siotis, Kyriaki Polikreti, Rea Apostolides, Wafaa El Saddik, Raymund Gottschalk, Mona Abd el Nazeer, Marina Vryonidou-Yiangou, Peter Ashdjian, Maria-Christina Yannoulatou, Stefan Simon, Wolfgang Davis, Vasiliki Kassianidou
Abstract: Many museum educational programs and exhibitions worldwide, designed to communicate to the public the importance of archaeology, adopt a treasure hunt approach often inspired by emblematic mass culture figures, such as Indiana Jones or Lara Croft. Alternatively they organize exhibitions on the identification of fakes in the spirit of TV series such as X-files or CSI.
These programs usually avoid dealing with a fundamental issue in archaeological practice, which pertains to the paramount importance of context and the scientific consequences of its destruction through, among others, the illicit trade of antiquities. The hesitation in promoting this sensitive topic may be due to the fact that many objects in major museum collections are often unprovenanced. Although the ICOM Code of Ethics for Museums (2006, section 4.5) advises against displaying material of questionable origin, most museums do host such antiquities.
The paper explores how museums can begin to discuss the issue of context using the materials produced by the European Culture project Witness the Past (WTP): film documentaries or educational kits and related activities aimed at children on the topic of the importance of context and the destructive effects of the illicit trade of antiquities. The WTP project was implemented in three European museums as well as in Egypt and Jordan.
PubDate: Thu, 13 Feb 2014 11:25:50 +000
- The Educational Museum: Innovations and Technologies Transforming Museum
Education. The Benaki Museum, Athens, 17 October 2013
Authors: Dimitra Christidou
Abstract: The main topic of The Educational Museum: Innovations and Technologies Transforming Museum Education conference, third in a series of conferences organised by the Benaki Museum in partnership with the American Embassy and the British Council in Greece, was the use of technology and social media as means of transforming museum education and, sometimes, funding museum exhibitions and educational programmes. Among others, the conference aimed to discuss the use of digital applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Kickstarter by museums in order to attract a wider audience, interpret their collections and even fund their programmes.
PubDate: Thu, 30 Jan 2014 14:26:48 +000
- Digital Museum Collections and Social Media: Ethical Considerations of
Ownership and Use
Authors: Kalliopi Fouseki; Kalliopi Vacharopoulou
Abstract: This paper examines the role of digital collections and digital information in the democratisation process of museums. The paper focuses on ethical and ownership issues regarding Wikipedia’s online encyclopaedia initiative to widen access to digital images and knowledge through digital media, for the wider public. The paper draws on three cases of national museums in the UK, namely the Victoria and Albert Museum, the British Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. The paper argues that notions of governmentality, power, authority, and control - which traditionally characterise national museums - are still dominant in digital collections. This occasionally results in tensions that revolve around the issue of ownership of digital images and digital museum objects as well as their commercial and non-commercial uses. The paper shows that recent disputes and discourse related to the use of digital images by Wikipedians (active users of Wikipedia) have raised issues of authority and control not only of physical objects but also of the information and knowledge related to these objects. The paper demonstrates that the level of collaboration with Wikipedia reflects to some extent the participatory nature, philosophy, and ideology of each museum institution.
PubDate: Thu, 12 Dec 2013 12:32:40 +000
- Living Religious Heritage and Challenges to Museum Ethics: Reflections
from the Monastic Community of Mount Athos
Authors: Georgios Alexopoulos
Abstract: This paper reflects on the challenges living religious heritage poses to contemporary museum ethics and specifically with regard to public display and accessibility. Drawing on extensive research conducted in the monastic community of Mount Athos, Greece, this study outlines the development of the museum concept through the organisation of treasury displays and exhibitions. It examines the ethics that underlie current approaches in the monastic community towards displaying and providing access to collections. It is emphasised that the perceived threats of touristification and museumification are at the centre of an apparent reluctance towards embracing widely adhered to principles of contemporary museology. Nevertheless, it is argued that the role of museum and heritage professionals is crucial in respecting the different value systems of the monasteries while advocating solutions that render Athonite heritage more open to the public.
PubDate: Thu, 07 Nov 2013 11:26:01 +000
- Reflections Around the Conservation of Sacred Thangkas
Authors: Sabine Cotte
Abstract: Tibetan thangkas (Buddhist scroll paintings) are created as religious ritual objects. The fact that they are mainly considered as artworks in the Western world impacts on the decisions made for their display and conservation. This article explores the current approach to thangkas in Australian public collections and compares it with the views of contemporary Tibetan Buddhism practitioners. It underlines a few misconceptions at the source of conservation decision-making, and discusses practical outcomes of integrating the sacred dimension into professional practice against the backdrop of conservation’s Codes of Ethics. Conserving living religious heritage requires that professional ethical standards are adaptable to the needs of users. Existing frameworks for the conservation of sacred objects of pre-colonised, indigenous cultures provide useful models for the conservation of thangkas. This article argues that engaging with contemporary cultural groups to conserve religious significance is part of the mission of conservators. This is viewed as an expansion of conservation practice into the social realm, in a search for purposeful conservation that establishes the social relevance of our profession.
PubDate: Wed, 30 Oct 2013 10:16:05 +000
- Guest Editorial on Museum Ethics
Authors: Georgios Papaioannou
Abstract: Museum ethics refer to the values on which museums found their operations. Therefore, they constitute a key issue in the museum world. In the last decade, there have been books, papers, institutions and individuals that solely discuss museum ethics. This collection of papers aims to contribute to this discussion. It is the published outcome of a session hosted at the Fourth International Conference on Information Law (ICIL, 20th – 21st May 2011, Thessaloniki, Greece).1 This guest editorial explains the overall conception of this collection and provides an insider’s view of the papers.
PubDate: Tue, 15 Oct 2013 11:22:47 +000
- The Phoenix: The Role of Conservation Ethics in the Development of St
Pancras Railway Station (London, UK)
Authors: Lu Allington-Jones
Abstract: St Pancras Railway Station, London (UK), has recently undergone alterations that have variously been described as conservation, restoration, refurbishment and rejuvenation, to become the new terminal for Eurostar. This article aims to evaluate the recent changes and relate them to current conservation ethics. Observations were made on site, derived from research in published literature and were assessed according to principles of conservation. The article concludes that, in the recent developments, conservation ethics have been drawn upon in an inconsistent fashion, and that the best description for the rebirth of the station is ‘recycling’. Investigation of the ‘conservation’ of significant items of national heritage, like St Pancras, is essential for formulating future standards and evaluating our own perceptions and the diversity of possible interpretations of conservation terminology.
PubDate: Mon, 02 Sep 2013 00:00:00 +000
- The Conservation of Early Post-Medieval Period Coins Found in Estonia
Authors: Aive Viljus; Mart Viljus
Abstract: This article deals with archaeological find material with a low silver content and the problems of conserving such material. The aim of the research was to find the most suitable method for the conservation of poorly preserved early post-medieval period coins with varying composition. For this, first, the composition of both the metal and the corrosion products of the archaeological coins were analysed, after which comparative experiments of different cleaning methods were carried out in order to find out the least harmful and most efficient method. A test was also performed to determine the necessity and efficiency of stabilizing the surface of the coins after cleaning.
PubDate: Wed, 20 Feb 2013 14:55:18 +000
- Imaging Techniques in Conservation
Authors: Emma Marie Payne
Abstract: New imaging techniques are increasingly being used within cultural heritage. This paper explores potential uses of such technologies within conservation and implications of their use on object preservation and accessibility. Study of their effects on objects is crucial because their employment is becoming irreplaceable; for example, polynomial texture mapping (PTM) has revealed previously undetectable surface features. In such cases, it is necessary to continue to use the technique to monitor object condition.3D laser scanning, PTM, and CT scanning are investigated. Case studies are explored to investigate their current role in cultural heritage. The appropriateness of this role and whether it should be expanded is addressed by analysing advantages and disadvantages of the techniques, their feasibility, and risks caused to object preservation and accessibility.The results indicate that the technologies present some advantages over standard digital photography; PTM in particular is found to be an extremely useful, affordable technique. A more established role within conservation, especially for condition assessments, could be worthwhile. Use of the imaging techniques to create models for exhibition can also be advantageous; however, care must be taken to ensure that such models are used to enhance accessibility to original objects and not to replace them.
PubDate: Mon, 11 Feb 2013 10:52:34 +000
- Architectural Conservation of an Amun Temple in Sudan
Authors: Tracey Sweek; Julie R Anderson, Satoko Tanimoto
Abstract: Excavation of a 2000 year old Amun Temple at Dangeil in Sudan. Under the directorship of Drs Salah Mohammed Ahmed of the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums, Khartoum and Julie R Anderson of the British Museum, London an excavation of the temple commenced in 2000. Dangeil is located to the south of the 5th Nile cataract in Sudan. In 2008, a preliminary visit was organised to intiate a conservation programme and trials to the architectural fabric of the temple. The materials used in the temple's construction include mud brick, fired brick, lime plaster and sandstone. During the subsequent seasons following 2008 adjustments and evaluations of the previous year's completed trials have been assessed. This case study outlines the progress of the site to date.
PubDate: Fri, 08 Feb 2013 15:36:07 +000
- Everything Judged on Its Own Merit? Object Conservation and the
Authors: Titika Malkogeorgou
Abstract: This paper is an anthropological study on conservation and museum practice, interrogating the negotiative value of conservation. It is asking who’s worth consulting when dealing with the preservation of complex museum objects, when a source community is a legitimate contributor to object conservation, and what are the ethical considerations posed for conservators confronted with such cases. Conservation is capable of bringing together more disciplines in the care of objects and creates a process of re-evaluation through technical analysis and treatment. I will discuss this process and what it may mean for the secular museum through the case study of a copper alloy Tibetan Buddha sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The debate around the object ultimate involved conservators, curators, heads of departments, local Buddhist representative, the director, and the museum trustees to decide on the extent of the intervention. This is a case study which challenges the character of the object, it reveals the object’s affective value and how the object’s meaning may change according to context and people. It questions the role of the conservator, the relevance of source communities and how the host institution influences conservation as it follows changes in concept and approach to museum objects.
PubDate: Mon, 04 Feb 2013 17:37:15 +000
- The Story of a Visit
Authors: Seph Rodney
Abstract: This article is comes out of a seminar series given at UCL in 2011. It deals with the notion of the 'voice' within the museum. That is, the article adresses a particular story of the discovery of the author's own individual voice through being socialized by the museum. The author details the means and results of this socialization and then claims that his biography, an inspirational story about the museum, is being coopted. He argues that those who believe the museum should act as a mechanism of social inclusion and rescue for the disfranchised use a story of personal transformation to support policies of social intervention by museums.
PubDate: Mon, 19 Nov 2012 17:17:03 +000
- Voices Falling Through the Air
Authors: Paul Elliman
Abstract: Where am I?Or as the young boy in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth calls back to his distant-voiced companions: ‘Lost… in the most intense darkness.’ ‘Then I understood it,’ says the boy, Axel, ‘To make them hear me, all I had to do was to speak with my mouth close to the wall, which would serve to conduct my voice, as the wire conducts the electric fluid’ (Verne 1864). By timing their calls, the group of explorers work out that Axel is separated from them by a distance of four miles, held in a cavernous vertical gallery of smooth rock. Feeling his way down towards the others, the boy ends up falling, along with his voice, through the space. Losing consciousness he seems to give himself up to the space...
PubDate: Sat, 17 Nov 2012 14:39:50 +000
- Preserving the Audio Arts Archive
Authors: Jack Maynard; Allison Foster
Abstract: In this paper Allison Foster (Rootstein Hopkins Foundation Archive Cataloguer) and Jack Maynard (Rootstein Hopkins Foundation Conservator) discuss the processes and challenges faced by them when cataloguing, digitising and preserving the Audio Arts Archive held at Tate Archive and the future plans and legacy of the project.
PubDate: Fri, 16 Nov 2012 15:11:10 +000
- Guest Editorial: The Vocal Turn
Authors: Antony Hudek
PubDate: Fri, 16 Nov 2012 13:45:17 +000
- For the Record:[un] official voices at the V&A
Authors: Linda Sandino
Abstract: This report gives an overview of the historical and affective value of oral history recordings drawing on my current research on curators at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The interviews demonstrate the changing definition of the title ‘curator’ over time, but show how this is achieved through the medium of the oral history interview, a context which enables a form of self-reflection that throws light on the interviewees’ individual and collective identity as curators working together in and for a specific institution. In telling of their lives, curators’ agency is extended to encompass the construction of, what the philosopher Paul Ricoeur termed, their narrative identity, a temporal category captured by this research ‘for the record’ (amongst other uses). The interviews reveal the entanglement of the ‘unofficial’ and ‘official’ persona of the curator. Nevertheless, is it possible to disentangle this distinction? Is it even necessary? Or, is the personal voice the medium for reflecting and transmitting the multilayered snapshots of experience, and that what engages is this very quality of the life lived as a story?
PubDate: Thu, 18 Oct 2012 21:36:53 +000
- Whose Story is it Anyway? The Challenges of Conducting Institutional
Authors: Sue Hawkins
Abstract: This paper is based on my experiences as an oral historian on the Museum Lives project, a joint undertaking between Kingston University and the Natural History Museum in London, which seeks to record the lives and careers of the Museum’s curators and scientists (retired and current). By focussing on scientists at a single institution the project becomes a study not only of individual scientists and the natural sciences but of the institution itself. As a result, in planning and conducting the interviews there are three narratives to be taken into account as narrators relate their stories: as practitioners within the science, as members of the institution and as individuals in their own right. In their accounts, the narrators talk for their science and for the Museum, but even more revealingly, perhaps for the first time, the project gives them space to talk of themselves, as members of the wider society. This paper will investigate the tensions that arise as a result of these separate but interconnected strands and the impact these tensions have on the stories which emerge.
PubDate: Mon, 27 Aug 2012 14:12:34 +000
- Sounding the Object: A Timebase Archive
Authors: David Toop
Abstract: A proposition for a hypothetical environment in which intangible multi-sensory events can be experienced as if in a museum. This museum of the imagination displays various sounding devices and listening events, all of which are footnoted by ancillary theoretical, conceptual and anecdotal material from the author’s sound work practice and research between 1971 and the present.
PubDate: Sun, 19 Aug 2012 22:59:28 +000
- Creating Voices: Ancient to Modern at the Petrie Museum
Authors: Debbie Challis
Abstract: How do you voice the ancient past? How do you speak a language, the pronunciation of which is contested? Can animate objects speak and if they could, what stories would they tell? Who has the right to make those decisions? Here I argue that understanding more about ‘voices’ in the museum can assist us with exploring that nebulous ‘in-between’ space, the space between the story of the object as presented by the museum and the object as perceived by the visitor, rather than simply directing an interpretation narrative.
PubDate: Sun, 19 Aug 2012 21:54:37 +000
- Voices in (and around) the Museum: Introduction
Authors: Ruth Holt
Abstract: The voice already plays an important role in contemporary art. This introductory paper summarises a series of four sessions in which speakers explored the place of the voice in the museum context. It became clear that the voice not only offered richness in interpretation of and response to other museum artefacts but was itself an artefact meriting conservation and interpretation.
PubDate: Sun, 19 Aug 2012 20:24:29 +000
- Voicing the Museum Artefact
Authors: Sarah Byrne
Abstract: Everywhere you look or indeed listen these days, museums from the local to the national are calling on various communities to engage with their collections through the spoken word. This paper reflects on the efficacy and capacity of the human voice in translating, transforming and transposing the museum artefact and considers the voice as its own mode of translation of material culture. It focuses on two very different case studies whereby conversations in and around museum objects were generated – the Melanesia Project at the British Museum and the Sense of Place project in Wapping, East London. Drawing off Dell Hymes’ S-P-E-A-K-I-N-G model, I consider both the significance of these vocal engagement and intellectual challenges they set in motion for the museum.
PubDate: Sun, 19 Aug 2012 00:14:09 +000
- Maximum Intervention: Renewal of a Maori Waka by George Nuku and National
Authors: Charles Stable
Abstract: National Museums Scotland (NMS) has in its collections a Mäori war canoe (A.UC.767) or Waka Taua from New Zealand. The Waka had been held in the Museum stores for many years and due to its incompleteness and poor state of repair had not been on public display. It was proposed that the Waka be restored with the intention of it being a focal point of a new permanent gallery in the Royal Museum in Edinburgh dedicated to South Pacific cultures and communities. The gallery was being developed as one part of a £44 million redevelopment of Royal Museum building. Due to its poor condition assistance was sought to help in the restoration, reconstruction and visual interpretation of the Waka. NMS commissioned George Nuku, a Mäori carver, to remake missing parts. Nuku uses a variety of mediums to carve including Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA). This made a clear distinction between new and original material that could be easily read by the public and reflected Nuku’s conceptual vision of creating physical “ghosts” influenced by the original carvings. Due to the composite construction and condition of the canoe the project became more complex and involved. This paper describes how the renewal was done and relationships that developed between the artist, curator and conservator.
PubDate: Wed, 09 May 2012 00:57:58 +000
- Between Humans and Other Things: Conservation as Material Fabric in
Authors: Cecilie Gravesen
Abstract: The text considers the role of the artist observer in scientific research, by using examples from the author's recent artwork in which conservation constitutes the material fabric. Gravesen employs an anthropological view on the museum conservator grappling with objects that are considered to be imbued with a spirit, and views the schism between a scientific approach and a transcendental belief system as emblematic for the bigger question as to how we currently deal with the legacy of colonialism on western ground. The author subscribes to a view of 'spirited' objects as imbedded agents in the ethnographic museum, enabling change on a social and cultural level, and suggests artistic license as a facilitator for an understanding of the living presence of objects that is beyond the idea of metaphor or representation.
PubDate: Mon, 02 Apr 2012 14:43:53 +000
- The Plus Oultra writing cabinet of Charles V: Expression of the sacred
imperialism of the Austrias
Authors: Ángeles Jordano
Abstract: The “Plus Oultra” writing cabinet of Charles V on display at the Victoria and Albert Museum of London is an intarsia piece made by Italian craftsmen ca. 1532. This article examines the iconographic programme of the cabinet as an expression of the universal Christian empire of Charles V and the sacred imperialism of the Spanish Austrias. This programme is revealed in three scenes depicting the story of Gideon that decorate the outside of the cabinet fall front: the revelation of the angel to Gideon and the woollen fleece in allusion to the Order of the Golden Fleece of which Charles V was the grand master, the selection of the three hundred men, and the battle against the Midianites. These scenes are complemented by medallion heads of Roman emperors to portray Charles V as legitimate successor to the Ancient Roman Empire. The inside of the fall front is emblazoned with the emblems of Charles V: the Pillars of Hercules, the ‘Plus Ultra’ motto, Saint Andrew’s crosses and laurel motifs, while the allegorical figures of Temperance and Justice adorning the sides of the cabinet symbolise the virtues of a good governor. The fall front opens to reveal a set of drawers and doors decorated with one of the earliest examples of the vanitas: objects alluding to the fleeting nature of life and the pursuit of wisdom. From a stylistic standpoint, the scenes and decorative motifs of the cabinet suggest that it may have been made in the workshop of the Dominican friar Damiano da Bergamo which Charles V visited in 1529.
PubDate: Sun, 19 Feb 2012 18:11:42 +000
- Book Review: Tribal Libraries, Archives, and Museums - Preserving our
Language, Memory and Lifeways
Authors: Tharron Bloomfield
PubDate: Tue, 07 Feb 2012 22:44:44 +000
- Guest Editorial: Writing about Conservation
Authors: Alan J. Hogg
PubDate: Thu, 15 Dec 2011 00:54:19 +000
- A Systematic Approach to Selecting Inexpensive Conservation Storage
Authors: Paul Garside; Lesley Hanson
Abstract: The appropriate storage of heritage artefacts is vital to their long-term survival, but selecting suitable storage solutions is not always easy due to the number of potentially conflicting factors that must be considered: the method of housing should be compatible with both the objects themselves and with the local environment; it must offer adequate support and protection; it should ideally be inexpensive, readily available and easy to use. Following the discovery of objects in the British Library’s collection which were showing initial signs of damage due to inappropriate storage, a systematic approach to selecting and assessing potential housing solutions was devised, as reported herein. A particular aim was to use containers, materials and testing regimes that could be sourced easily and affordably, thus permitting the rapid rehousing of all of the items identified as being at risk. This emphasis also places such test protocols and storage solutions within the reach of smaller collections with limited budgets and resources.
PubDate: Fri, 11 Nov 2011 01:06:53 +000
- "Sustaining a Community of Learners:" Visitor Studies
Association (VSA) 24th Annual Conference, July 24-27 2011 in Chicago,
Authors: Dimitra Christidou
PubDate: Wed, 31 Aug 2011 23:50:21 +000
- The Factors Affecting Women's Success in Museum Careers: A Discussion
of the Reasons More Women Do Not Reach the Top, and of Strategies to
Promote their Future Success
Authors: Victoria Turner
Abstract: This dissertation discusses the factors affecting women's success in museum careers. It draws on information gathered from interviews with successful women, to supplement existing information and statistics. Women are less successful than men, for they are underrepresented in the top jobs, and have lower average earnings. This is the result of a series of factors which hinder their career progression. Some emanate from the organizational culture of museums, which is often conservative and male-dominated. Others result from the clash between fulfilling family responsibilities and living up to current expectations in the workplace. A final set of factors concerns the typical attitudes and behaviour of individuals: the effects of women's own self-limitation, and men's, often unconsciously, pejorative viewpoint. The strategies for overcoming these barriers have also been assessed. Organizations are implementing equal opportunities programmes, including provisions for flexible working; for individuals, awareness is crucial, as well as profiting from networks, mentors, training and career planning. These strategies, however, are currently sufficient to help only the most exceptional women reach the top. The remaining problems are associated with deep-seated social stereotypes, and it will take a concerted effort by those in high status positions to help greater numbers of women overcome them.
PubDate: Fri, 01 Nov 2002 19:55:25 +000
- Decision From Indecision: Conservation of Thangka Significance,
Perspectives and Approaches
Authors: Jacinta Boon Nee Loh
Abstract: Art may be entwined with religion, encompassing a spiritual message beyond artistic form and design. The thangka is one such sacred art in this world. Each thangka is created for a specific purpose and will always be different from other ones. It is for this reason and other values that they are conserved for the present and the future. The thangka poses complex challenges for conservators because of its composite nature and the wealth of values it embodies. It demands a balanced approach that looks into its material and conceptual integrity. Each of us has different aesthetic standards in interpretation of the thangka. This research explores the approaches and perspectives of thangka conservation, in particular embroidered/ appliqué thangkas and the influence of their significance in the decision-making process of their conservation. Through this investigation, the author establishes a framework of decision-making and her perspectives to thangka conservation.
PubDate: Fri, 01 Nov 2002 19:50:30 +000
- "We Will Remember Them" Memory and Commemoration in War Museums
Authors: Andrew Whitmarsh
Abstract: David Lowenthal has observed that in today's museums, "nothing seems too horrendous to commemorate" (Lowenthal 1985). Yet museums frequently portray a sanitised version of warfare. The twentieth century saw the development of commemorative traditions: customs and narratives by which individuals, groups and nations remember, commemorate and attempt to resolve memories of the traumatic experience that is war. These conventions often also govern museum interpretation of war. This dissertation examines the representation of war in two very different museums: Britain's national Imperial War Museum, and the regional In Flanders Fields Museum at Ypres, Belgium. The Imperial War Museum tends to follow established commemorative traditions. In its recently-opened Holocaust exhibition, however, it has made use of a different style of commemoration. In Flanders Fields has consciously attempted to avoid traditional forms of commemoration, which could be seen as glamorising or sanitising war. This museum focuses on the experiences of individual soldiers of all nations, and tells visitors that they must learn from the First World War to work for peace. "They shall not grow old,
As we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them,
Nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun
And in the morning
We will remember them."
– Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)
PubDate: Thu, 01 Nov 2001 19:43:13 +000
- Conservation Documentation and the Implications of Digitisation
Authors: Michelle Moore
Abstract: Conservation documentation can be defined as the textual and visual records collected during the care and treatment of an object. It can include records of the object's condition, any treatment done to the object, any observations or conclusions made by the conservator as well as details on the object's past and present environment. The form of documentation is not universally agreed upon nor has it always been considered an important aspect of the conservation profession. Good documentation tells the complete story of an object thus far and should provide as much information as possible for the future researcher, curator, or conservator. The conservation profession will benefit from digitising its documentation using software such as databases and hardware like digital cameras and scanners. Digital technology will make conservation documentation more easily accessible, cost/time efficient, and will increase consistency and accuracy of the recorded data, and reduce physical storage space requirements. The major drawback to digitising conservation records is maintaining access to the information for the future; the notorious pace of technological change has serious implications for retrieving data from any machine- readable medium.
PubDate: Thu, 01 Nov 2001 19:37:49 +000
- Art for Whose Sake? Modern Art Museums and their Role in Transforming
Societies: The Case of the Guggenheim Bilbao
Authors: Evdoxia Baniotopoulou
Abstract: In the past two decades the industrial decline of many western economies has forced them to turn towards the tertiary sector in order to diversify their infrastructure and find new sources of income. One of the characteristics of this process was the development of urban regeneration plans, which recognised the potential of the cultural sector for economic development. Central to this approach was the use of modern art museums as magnets for tourism and inward investment. This practice has produced a number of examples, the most famous being the Guggenheim Bilbao. The phenomenal success of this museum has caused it to become a model and this is why it ought to be examined critically. The creation of the museum is initially considered in the framework of particular historical and political circumstances. It is then placed in the context of the local cultural policy, a combination of theory and local political aspirations. The involvement of the external factor – the Guggenheim Foundation – is considered next, followed by an assessment of the museum in both quantifiable and non-quantifiable terms. Lastly, the preference shown in modern art museums to play this role is discussed. It is concluded that the Guggenheim Bilbao is the outcome of special political and socioeconomic circumstances, which renders it a unique case that should not be replicated uncritically.
PubDate: Thu, 01 Nov 2001 19:32:35 +000
- MA Museum Studies Dissertation Abstracts, UCL Institute of Archaeology,
Authors: Brian Hole
PubDate: Sat, 01 May 1999 00:12:27 +000
- MA Museum and Heritage Studies Dissertation Abstracts, UCL Institute of
Authors: Brian Hole
PubDate: Sat, 01 May 1999 00:07:27 +000
- Association of Graduate Programs in Art Conservation (AGPIC), Queen's
University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, 1-2 May 1998: Student Conference
Authors: Brian Hole
PubDate: Fri, 01 May 1998 23:57:05 +000
- A Note on Tropical, Hot, and Humid Museums
Authors: Franciza Toledo; Clifford Price
Abstract: This study looks at the museum environment, in hot and humid regions, in an attempt to use passive solutions to improve them. Three museum buildings in Recife and Olinda, two neighbouring coastal cities in north-east Brazil, were monitored for one year, recording air temperature and relative humidity. This data collection allowed mapping of the actual situation, as well as an ideal one, through computer simulations. As a result, recommendations on museum procedures and standards for hot and humid regions will be presented. To assess the buildings' performance in relation to climate, this paper presents the first analyses and results of the monitoring scheme.
PubDate: Fri, 01 May 1998 23:48:54 +000
- Calcium Oxalate: A Surface Treatment for Limestone
Authors: Tody M. Cezar
Abstract: This paper looks at the artificially induced surface conversion of calcium carbonate to the more durable calcium oxalate. Extensive research is being carried out on wall paintings and marble sculpture at the Opicificio delle Pietre Dure e Laboratori di Restauro in Florence, Encouraged by their work, I have researched the effectiveness of the conversion on English limestones. The treated samples have been compared to untreated samples for appearance, hardness, resistance to acid and alkali, porosity, and durability. The results have been assessed considering ease of use, effectiveness, and the appropriateness of the treatment.
PubDate: Fri, 01 May 1998 23:09:30 +000
- A Late Bronze Age Sickle from Shinewater Park: The Treatment of a
Authors: Ann Brysbaert
Abstract: A late bronze age sickle was found at Shinewater Park, Sussex, England in 1995. A thoroughly researched conservation plan was required in order to meet the display conditions of the receiving museum and to meet the high standards required by the specialists involved in the treatment of this unique sickle. The sickle was lifted in a block of soil and then cleaned while still waterlogged. This was the initial step of treatment before the proper investigation and condition assessment could be initiated. After thorough discussion and research on possible treatment options, the alcohol-ether treatment was decided upon, a three-dimensional mould was produced and a design for a display mount was suggested. The necessary communication with specialists from several fields was very enriching, as was the depth of research which went into every step of the treatment process of the sickle.
PubDate: Fri, 01 May 1998 23:01:11 +000
- BSc Archaeological Conservation Dissertation Abstracts, UCL Institute of
Authors: Brian Hole
PubDate: Fri, 01 May 1998 00:02:17 +000
- Protective Structures for the Conservation and Presentation of
Authors: Zaki Aslan
Abstract: A critical review of the effectiveness of shelters or enclosed buildings as a means of preserving in situ archaeological features is required. This paper identifies some of the key problems related to site preservation and the use of built structures, as well as an assessment of selected examples of both shelters and enclosures. From these examples a range of problems, from practical to aesthetic, are identified. The need to establish guidelines and planning procedures for design and implementation for future projects is highlighted and suggestions for future study and design modification are given.
PubDate: Sat, 01 Nov 1997 22:55:10 +000
- A New Technique fo the Casting of Missing Areas in Glass Restoration
Authors: Erik Risser
Abstract: This article traces the development of a new method of glass restoration for fragmentary and incomplete vessels. The technique involves making a blank of the missing area and then moulding and casting away from the object as an alternative to conventional gap-filling in situ.
PubDate: Sat, 01 Nov 1997 22:50:20 +000
- The Degredation and Conservation of Leather
Authors: Vicki Dirksen
Abstract: This paper examines the tanning processes used in the manufacture of leather and the implications such processes have on the deterioration of aging leather. Improving the understanding of the processes used to create leather should result in a museum professional who is better able to address the conservation and care of leather artefacts. Present methods of leather conservation are examined with regard to the advantages and disadvantages of each method.
PubDate: Sat, 01 Nov 1997 22:45:33 +000
- Testing Corrosion Inhibitors for the Conservation of Archaeological Copper
and Copper Alloys
Authors: Robert B. Faltermeier
Abstract: This is a synopsis of the Ph.D. research undertaken at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. The aim was to evaluate corrosion inhibitors for use in the conservation of copper and copper alloy archaeological artefacts. The objective of this work was to acquire an insight into the performance of copper corrosion inhibitors, when applied to archaeological copper.
PubDate: Sat, 01 Nov 1997 22:41:54 +000
- Museums and their Websites: An Examination and Assessment of How Museums
are Coping with the Challenge of the World Wide Web
Authors: Richard Sabin
Abstract: Internet traffic has increased dramatically over the past two years, due mainly to developments in the World Wide Web. Museum websites are also appearing on-line at an equally rapid pace. In this study, I shall examine how museums are coping with the challenge of the World Wide Web. This will be done through a combination of case studies, interviews, and an interchange of ideas/opinions with museum professionals world-wide, via the Internet.
PubDate: Thu, 01 May 1997 22:36:26 +000
- L'Innocenza Perduta (Lost Innocence): Conserving a Carrara Marble
Authors: Chris Cleere
Abstract: This paper describes the conservation of L'Innocenza Perduta (Lost Innocence), a marble statue by the Florentine sculptor Emilio Santarelli. As the statue is on open display at University College London and is accessible to the public, it has been vulnerable to destructive elements, including airborne pollutants and vandalism. Cleaning was done by steam and poultice. However, during the cleaning process it became clear that the capital and plinth required more complicated conservation treatments due to considerable cracking of the stone.
PubDate: Thu, 01 May 1997 22:32:57 +000
- Second Postgraduate Conservation Research Seminar: Science Museum, London,
8-9 February 1996
Authors: Brian Hole
Abstract: Second Postgraduate Conservation Research Seminar
Science Museum, London, UK, 8-9 February 1996 Organised by Dr. Edward Then
Senior Conservator (New Materials)
PubDate: Wed, 01 May 1996 22:21:45 +000
- Is Collection Management an "Art" or a "Science"?
Authors: Susan Raikes
Abstract: Collections management has been the focus of much critical attention in the past, both from the government, particularly with regard to the national museums, and from non-government bodies. This has led to the rise of a wide variety of standard setting initiatives in the United Kingdom. These standards are discussed, compared to the ideas of "art" and "science," and the recent much-needed advances in collections management are surveyed in that context.
PubDate: Wed, 01 May 1996 21:48:03 +000
- The People's Show: A Critical Analysis
Authors: Robin Francis
Abstract: The 1990s heralded a new form of museum exhibition: "The People's Show." A light-hearted celebration of popular culture, the concept has had phenomenal success throughout the United Kingdom. Beneath the humour, however, are more complex and radical agendas relating to cultural rights. The paper explores the issues associated with the rise and possible wane of this museum-based popular cultural phenomenon.
PubDate: Wed, 01 May 1996 21:26:45 +000
- Our Environment Ruined? Environmental Control Reconsidered as a
Strategy for Conservation
Authors: Dale Peters
Abstract: This paper examines the current debate on guidelines for environmental control in the light of deterioration mechanisms induced and accelerated by fluctuations in relative humidity. Our traditional understanding of these guidelines, based on forces of physical stress and biodeterioration, is developed by an investigation of the oxidative mechanism of chemical deterioration of library and archival materials.
PubDate: Wed, 01 May 1996 21:18:15 +000
- The Identification and Treatment of a Unique Cache of Organic Artefacts
from Menorca's Bronze Age
Authors: Howard Wellman
Abstract: A unique cache of organic artefacts was excavated in March 1995 from Cova d'es Carritx, Menorca, a sealed cave system that was used as a mortuary in the late second or early first millennia BC. This deposit included a set of unique conical tubes made of bovine horn sheath, stuffed with hair or other fibres, and capped with wooden disks. Other materials were found in association with the tubes, including a copper-tin alloy rod. The decision to display some of the tubes required a degree of consolidative strengthening which would conflict with conservation aims of preserving the artefacts essentially unchanged for future study. The two most complete artefacts were treated by localised consolidation (with Paraloid B-72), while the other two were left untreated. The two consolidated tubes were provided with display-ready mounts, while the others were packaged to minimise the effects of handling and long-term storage.
PubDate: Wed, 01 May 1996 00:26:30 +000