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Table Of Contents

2 : introduction
4 : introduction
6 : introduction
8 : introduction
12 : chapter one
14 : chapter one
16 : chapter one
18 : chapter one
20 : chapter one
22 : chapter one
24 : chapter one
26 : chapter one
28 : chapter one
30 : chapter one
34 : chapter two
36 : chapter two
38 : chapter two
40 : chapter two
42 : chapter two
44 : chapter two
46 : chapter two
50 : chapter two
52 : chapter two
54 : chapter two
58 : chapter three
62 : chapter three
64 : chapter three
66 : chapter three
68 : chapter three
70 : chapter three
72 : chapter three
74 : chapter three
76 : chapter three
78 : chapter three
80 : chapter three
82 : chapter three
84 : chapter three
86 : chapter three
90 : chapter four
92 : chapter four
94 : chapter four
96 : chapter four
98 : chapter four
100 : chapter four
102 : chapter four
104 : chapter four
106 : chapter four
108 : chapter four
110 : chapter four
112 : chapter four
116 : epilogue
118 : epilogue
120 : epilogue
124 : notes to pages 5–14
126 : notes to pages 21–24
128 : notes to pages 34–41
130 : notes to pages 44–51
132 : notes to pages 59–71
134 : notes to pages 78–87
136 : notes to pages 92–94
138 : notes to pages 96–106
142 : index
144 : index
146 : index
148 : index
P. 1
Museums Matter: In Praise of the Encyclopedic Museum

Museums Matter: In Praise of the Encyclopedic Museum

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Published by UChicagoPress

The concept of an encyclopedic museum was born of the Enlightenment, a manifestation of society’s growing belief that the spread of knowledge and the promotion of intellectual inquiry were crucial to human development and the future of a rational society. But in recent years, museums have been under attack, with critics arguing that they are little more than relics and promoters of imperialism. Could it be that the encyclopedic museum has outlived its usefulness?

With Museums Matter, James Cuno, president and director of the Art Institute of Chicago, replies with a resounding “No!” He takes us on a brief tour of the modern museum, from the creation of the British Museum—the archetypal encyclopedic collection—to the present, when major museums host millions of visitors annually and play a major role in the cultural lives of their cities. Along the way, Cuno acknowledges the legitimate questions about the role of museums in nation-building and imperialism, but he argues strenuously that even a truly national museum like the Louvre can’t help but open visitors’ eyes and minds to the wide diversity of world cultures and the stunning art that is our common heritage. Engaging with thinkers such as Edward Said and Martha Nussbaum, and drawing on examples from the politics of India to the destruction of the Bramiyan Buddhas to the history of trade and travel, Cuno makes a case for the encyclopedic museum as a truly cosmopolitan institution, promoting tolerance, understanding, and a shared sense of history—values that are essential in our ever more globalized age.

Powerful, passionate, and to the point, Museums Matter is the product of a lifetime of working in and thinking about museums; no museumgoer should miss it.

The concept of an encyclopedic museum was born of the Enlightenment, a manifestation of society’s growing belief that the spread of knowledge and the promotion of intellectual inquiry were crucial to human development and the future of a rational society. But in recent years, museums have been under attack, with critics arguing that they are little more than relics and promoters of imperialism. Could it be that the encyclopedic museum has outlived its usefulness?

With Museums Matter, James Cuno, president and director of the Art Institute of Chicago, replies with a resounding “No!” He takes us on a brief tour of the modern museum, from the creation of the British Museum—the archetypal encyclopedic collection—to the present, when major museums host millions of visitors annually and play a major role in the cultural lives of their cities. Along the way, Cuno acknowledges the legitimate questions about the role of museums in nation-building and imperialism, but he argues strenuously that even a truly national museum like the Louvre can’t help but open visitors’ eyes and minds to the wide diversity of world cultures and the stunning art that is our common heritage. Engaging with thinkers such as Edward Said and Martha Nussbaum, and drawing on examples from the politics of India to the destruction of the Bramiyan Buddhas to the history of trade and travel, Cuno makes a case for the encyclopedic museum as a truly cosmopolitan institution, promoting tolerance, understanding, and a shared sense of history—values that are essential in our ever more globalized age.

Powerful, passionate, and to the point, Museums Matter is the product of a lifetime of working in and thinking about museums; no museumgoer should miss it.

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categoriesBooks, Arts & Music, Art
Publish date: Dec 15, 2011
Added to Scribd: Mar 12, 2012
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reservedISBN:9780226126807
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