Y’all Get to Skim Half of These Readings!

Skim this one first.  Then read this one (just the part about The Getty), and then the prologue of this one, and then skip ahead to pages 25-30 (starting with “Is the Department Store a Museum?”).  If all goes well there should be little post-it icons near the pertinent sections.

Sorry there are no snappy videos, but I tried to make it relatively painless for you.  Most of the stuff I’m  running across keeps nattering on about aesthetics as a moral instructor and the role of material culture in the political past.  Parts I find interesting, but mostly it’s as dry as a box of Shredded Wheat.

A couple things to note, though: these readings are all object-centered, and that last reading is from 1917 but the parts you’re reading are pretty well spot-on in summing up the museum field today.

That’s why I’m finding my reading stage of the project so vexing.  Nobody seems to want to write about the museum visitor except when instructing professionals what to write on labels, and critical essays on museum practice from the nineteen-teens seem just as applicable today.  The idealist side of me has her nose put out of joint.


(I tried to put a fun picture of someone excited to read, but a google image search of “so excited to read” returned a lot of selfies of teenage girls.  Am I missing something culturally relevant here?)

3 thoughts to “Y’all Get to Skim Half of These Readings!”

  1. Sorry about that! You should be able to access them now – it might ask you for your umich login. I didn’t want just anyone to access them, since the copies aren’t mine.

  2. The links work now – thanks! Are these the ideas that you are going to convey to museum visitors? It’s very interesting because when we go to museums, we’re not made to ponder about the motivations behind and effects of the collection and displaying of objects from far flung places meant to neatly present cultures. I know this is simplifying your project a lot, but I was wondering if there is one thing that you want museum visitors to think about more deeply after they have stepped out of a museum, what is it?

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