Museum  Histories    

Brown  University  AMST1903I  and  HIST1960P    
Spring  2015  
Steven  Lubar  /  Teaching  Assistant  Ashley  Bowen-­‐Murphy  
Class:  Wednesday  3:00-­‐5:20,  Nightingale-­‐Brown  House  
Office  Hours:  Thursday  1:30-­‐3:00  (by  appointment,  click  here)  or  other  times  by  appointment  
 

Course  Description  
Museums  collect  and  display  art  and  artifacts  not  only  to  preserve  culture  heritage,  but  also  to  educate,  engage,  
and  entertain.  This  course  examines  the  history  of  museums—of  art,  history,  anthropology,  natural  history,  
science  and  technology—to  understand  their  changing  goals  and  techniques,  and  their  changing  place  in  
American  society.  It  considers  both  the  changes  within  museums,  in  the  work  of  curation,  conservation,  
education,  and  social  engagement,  and  the  changing  way  that  visitors  used  them,  and  the  cultural  work  they  did.      
This  course  is  a  history  research  seminar.  We  will  explore  both  the  history  of  museums  and  the  historiography  
of  the  field.  Students  will  read  museum  history  and  theory,  engage  with  museum  archives  and  other  primary  
sources.  How  have  museums  changed,  and  how  has  that  change  been  understood  and  analyzed  by  historians?  
I’m  also  interested  in  applied  history:  how  can  we  use  our  understanding  of  the  history  of  museums  to  
understand  museums  today,  and  to  shape  their  future?  What  might  museums  today  learn  from  the  past?  
How  the  course  works:  there’s  a  book,  or  several  articles,  to  read  each  week,  as  well  as  several  primary  sources.  
There’s  a  primary-­‐source  based  blog  post  due  each  week,  one  research  paper  due  sometime  during  the  semester,  
and  a  group  project  that  recreates  the  experience  of  a  museum  visitor.  Details  below.  

Required  and  Optional  Texts  and  Materials  
All  of  the  readings  for  the  course  are  available  either  online  through  Canvas,  on  reserve  at  the  Brown  University  
Library,  or  for  purchase  at  the  bookstore.  Canvas  includes  a  range  of  supplemental  readings.  Additional  readings  
(including  books  and  articles  considered  for  the  class  but  not  in  the  syllabus)  are  available  at  my  Zotero  page,  
 The  following  books  are  available  at  the  bookstore:  

Stephen  Conn,  Museums  and  American  Intellectual  Life,  1876-­‐1926  

Jeffrey  Trask.,    Things  American:  Art  Museums  and  Civic  Culture  in  the  Progressive  Era.    

Susan  G.  Davis,  Spectacular  Nature:  Corporate  Culture  and  the  Sea  World  Experience  

This  book  is  available  as  a  Kindle  text:  

The  First  Treatise  on  Museums:  Samuel  Quiccheberg's  Inscriptiones,  1565  ??  

The  other  books  and  articles  are  available  either  through  library  or  on  Canvas.    

Course  policies  
Attendance:  Please  try  to  attend  every  class,  but  if  there  are  other  engagements  at  class  time  that  would  also  be  
useful  to  your  education  and  professional  development,  it’s  up  to  you  to  make  the  call  on  which  is  more  likely  to  
be  valuable.  Please  let  me  know  if  you’re  not  able  to  make  the  class.    
Participation:  The  class  only  works  if  you  participate.  Please  read  the  readings,  read  further  in  areas  of  interest,  
and  come  to  class  prepared  to  discuss  what  you’ve  read  and  thought  about.  Participation  is  evaluated  by  the  
quality  of  your  comments.  Be  constructive:  refer  to  the  readings,  present  new  information  from  your  experience  
and  from  outside  readings,  and  suggest  new  ideas.  Participation  should  be  a  dialog,  building  on  my  remarks,  and  
other  students’  contributions,  as  part  of  a  conversation.  You  should  speak  up  when  you  have  something  to  say;  
in  general,  that  should  be  more  than  once  in  each  class.  Continue  the  conversation  beyond  class,  through  Twitter  
or  other  social  media.  
Late  work  and  make  up:  I  would  rather  see  an  excellent  paper  than  a  less-­‐good  one  turned  in  on  time.  Exceptions  
are  when  we  are  working  with  an  outside  individuals  or  organization  or  on  group  projects:  in  those  cases,  
meeting  deadlines  is  essential.  As  long  as  you  turn  in  all  of  your  work  by  the  end  of  the  course  you’ll  get  credit  
for  it.  I’m  happy  to  read  preliminary  drafts  of  any  assignment,  or  a  second,  improved,  version.  Email  or  come  talk  
to  me  if  you’d  like  to  discuss  your  assignments  as  you’re  working  on  them,  or  after  you’ve  turned  them  in.  
I  have  listed  local  museums  (and  some  New  York  museums)  that  reflect  the  history  we’ll  be  discussing  for  each  
week.  Visits  are  not  mandatory,  but  if  you  can  visit  and  report  back,  on  the  blog  or  in  class,  that  would  be  good.    

Student  responsibilities  
Reading  

Read  assigned  work.  Note:  Read  strategically,  to  get  what  you  need  out  of  the  book.  On  how  to  read  for  
graduate  seminars  see,  for  example,  Miriam  Sweeney’s  or  Larry  Cebula’s  blog  posts.  Explore  other  
material,  both  primary  and  secondary,  on  the  topic.  If  you  find  something  of  interest  in  the  footnotes  to  
the  reading,  follow  up  by  tracking  it  down  and  reading  it.    

Read  the  class  blog  each  week  before  class.    

Discussion  (30  percent  of  grade)  

Participate  in  class  discussion.  Good  discussion  requires  everyone  to  contribute.  Come  to  class  
prepared  with  interesting  things  to  say.  Listen  to  what  other  students  say.  Build  on  what’s  been  said  
before.    

Participate  in  out-­‐of-­‐class  discussion,  online.  Use  Twitter  (hashtag  #amst1901)  to  call  the  class’s  
attention  to  interesting  bits  in  the  class  reading,  events,  exhibits  and  programs,  and  writings  and  
websites  that  you  think  will  be  of  interest.    

Blog  writing  assignments    (30  percent  of  grade)  
By  Tuesday  before  each  class,  post  to  the  blog  (http://museumhistories.wordpress.com/)  a  primary-­‐
source  document  and  a  short  (50-­‐250  word)  essay  explaining  that  document  and  its  relationship  to  

that  week’s  reading.  (Do  at  least  ten  of  these.  Tag  them  appropriately  so  others  can  find  them.)  You  can  
often  find  primary  documents  by  reading  the  footnotes  of  that  week’s  reading.  For  example,  when  
we’re  discussing  American  popular  museums  of  the  mid-­‐nineteenth  century,  you  might  post  a  
broadside  advertising  one  of  these  museums.  When  we’re  talking  about  John  Dewey’s  ideas  on  
education,  you  might  post  a  page  of  one  of  his  books,  and  write  about  how  the  ideas  there  influenced  
museums.  You  can  find  material  for  this  online,  at  Brown’s  libraries,  and  by  visiting  local  museums.  
We’ll  use  these  blog  posts  to  help  guide  our  class  discussion.    
Here’s  what  makes  a  good  blog  post.  The  first  sentence,  or  perhaps  the  first  paragraph,  should  make  it  
clear  what  you’re  writing  about  and  your  point  of  view.  Consider  your  audience:  the  main  audience  for  
this  writing  is  the  rest  of  the  class,  so  you  can  assume  a  good  bit  of  knowledge  and  background.  Make  
an  argument.  Use  words  like  “I  think”  or  “I  suggest.”  Use  images  when  possible.  Be  sure  to  give  you  blog  
entry  categories  and  tags.    Submit  the  address  of  your  blog  post  to  Canvas  each  week.  NOTE:  the  blog  is  
open  to  the  public.  
We’ll  discuss  some  of  these  blog  posts  in  class,  so  come  prepared  to  talk  about  them.  Please  post  the  
address  of  the  blog  post  on  Canvas,  so  I  can  keep  track  of  them.  
One  longer  writing  assignment  (30  percent  of  grade)  
Write  a  research  paper,  about  2000-­‐3000  words,  on  any  topic  of  interest  to  you  and  appropriate  to  the  
class.  For  example:  you  might  write  a  case  study  of  a  museum,  either  historical  or  contemporary,  based  
on  research  in  the  library  or  interviews;  a  comparative  study  of  several  museums  or  related  
institutions;  a  theoretical  exploration;  or  something  else.  Your  paper  might  suggest  considerations  and  
guidelines  for  museums  based  on  historical  precedents.  
Here’s  what  I  think  makes  a  good  research  paper:  Make  an  argument.  Connect  to  class  readings  and  
discussions  and  to  the  historiography  of  your  topic.  Use  primary  sources.    
Note:  Your  writing  should  be  your  original  work,  based  on  class  work,  your  reading,  experience,  and  
conversations.  Footnote  anything  you  use  from  books,  articles,  interviews,  or  the  web.  Note  ideas  that  
came  from  other  people.  Failure  to  do  so  can  result  in  failing  the  class.  Use  any  footnote  style  you  like,  
but  be  consistent.    
I’m  open  to  other  formats  of  presentation:  video,  audio,  websites,  exhibits,  whatever...  Consider  writing  
your  paper  in  an  open,  on-­‐line  format,  for  example  Medium.    
Submit  your  paper  via  Canvas.  An  short  proposal  outlining  your  topic  and  your  argument  is  due  April  
10.  The  final  paper  is  due  May  1.    
Group  project:  Recreate  a  visit  to  historical  museum  (10  percent  of  grade)  
Using  any  media  of  your  choice  –  video,  audio,  web,  photography,  mixed  media,  installation  –  recreate  a  
visit  to  a  historical  museum.  These  will  be  presented  to  the  class  as  part  of  the  discussion  of  that  
museum.  The  group  should  meet  with  me  or  Ashley  Bowen-­‐Murphy  to  discuss  this  a  week  before  the  
presentation.    

Class  Schedule  
1.

January  21:  Introductions  

 

2.

January  28:  Wunderkammer  and  the  Roots  of  the  Modern  Museum  

Questions  for  class  discussion:  What  was  the  purpose  of  the  wunderkammer?  What  
did  they  teach?  Who  was  the  audience?  How  were  objects  used?  Were  they  about  old  
or  new,  typical  or  atypical?  How  useful  are  cabinets  of  curiosity  (and  the  notions  of  
resonance  and  wonder)  for  understanding  the  work  of  museums?  
Secondary:  
Stephen  Greenblatt,  “Resonance  and  Wonder”  
Bert  van  de  Roemer,  “Redressing  the  Balance:  Levinus  Vincent’s  Wonder  Theatre  of  
Nature,”  Public  Domain  Review  
Paula  Findlen,  Possessing  Nature  :  Museums,  Collecting,  and  Scientific  Culture  in  Early  
Modern  Italy,  Introduction  and  Chapter  2  
Koeppe,  Wolfram.  “Collecting  for  the  Kunstkammer.”  In  Heilbrunn  Timeline  of  Art  
History.  New  York:  The  Metropolitan  Museum  of  Art,  2000–.    Take  a  look  at  the  art  
and  artifacts  at  the  top  of  the  page.    
 
Primary:    
The  First  Treatise  on  Museums:  Samuel  Quiccheberg's  Inscriptiones,  1565    
 

3.

February  4:  The  invention  of  the  modern  museum  

Questions  for  discussion:  What  is  the  relationship  of  these  museums  to  the  
wunderkammer  and  other  earlier  museums?  Who  was  the  public  for  these  museums?  
What  kinds  of  categories  were  used  here?  What  kinds  of  organization?  How  did  they  
reflect  or  shape  contemporary  thought?  How  might  we  use  Bennett’s  arguments  to  
understand  the  relationships  of  knowledge,  power,  and  social  control  in  the  museum?  
How  did  visitors  use  these  museums?    
Secondary:    
Jeffrey  Abt,    “The  Origins  of  the  Public  Museum,”  in  Sharon  MacDonald,  Companion  to  
Museum  Studies  
Accessing  Enlightenment  Study  Guide  
Tony  Bennett,  “The  Exhibitionary  Complex,”  New  Formations  4,  1988  

Helen  Rees  Leahy,  Museum  Bodies:  The  Politics  and  Practices  of  Visiting  and  Viewing  
(Burlington,  VT:  Ashgate,  2012),  Chapter  1,  “Making  a  Social  Body”    
Constance  Classen,  “Museum  Manners:  The  Sensory  Life  of  the  Early  Museum,”  
Journal  of  Social  History  40,  no.  4  (2007):  895-­‐914  
Primary:    
Be  sure  to  read  the  primary  documents  in  Accessing  Enlightenment  Study  Guide  and  
look  at  the  images  on  the  related  website.    
 

4.

February  11:  Early  American  museums  

Questions  for  discussion:  How  did  early  museums  portray  the  nation?  The  rest  of  the  
world?  Who  was  their  audience?  How  were  they  part  of  the  project  of  creating  and  
defining  the  nation?  What  categories  did  they  use?  Who  was  their  audience?  
Secondary:  
Joel  J.  Orosz,  Curators  and  Culture:  The  Museum  Movement  in  America,  1740-­‐1870  
(Tuscaloosa:  University  of  Alabama  Press,  1990),  chapters  2  and  3  
James  M.  Lindgren,  “`That  Every  Mariner  May  Possess  the  History  of  the  World’:  A  
Cabinet  for  the  East  India  Marine...,”  New  England  Quarterly  68,  no.  2  (June  1995):  
179.  
Patricia  West,  Domesticating  History:  The  Political  Origins  of  America's  House  
Museums,  chapter  1  
Patricia  Johnston,  “Global  Knowledge  in  the  Early  Republic:  The  East  India  Marine  
Society’s  “Curiosities”  Museum”  
David  Brigham,  Public  Culture  in  the  Early  Republic:  Peale’s  Museum  and  its  
Audiences,  chapter  2,  “Peale’s  Public  Presentation  of  the  museum”    
Primary  
Charles  Willson  Peale,  “My  Design  in  Forming  this  Museum,”  “To  the  citizens  of  the  
United  States,”  and  other  broadsides  online  at  the  American  Philosophical  Society  
Nathaniel  Hawthorne,  “A  Virtuoso’s  Collection,”  Boston  Miscellany,  1842  
“The  United  States  Naval  Lyceum,”  New  York  Times,  1852    
“Iconographic  Catalog  of  the  U.S.  Lyceum,  at  the  Navy  Yard,  Brooklyn”  in  The  US  
Nautical  Magazine  and  Naval  Journal,  part  1  
Visit  
Peabody  Essex  Museum,  Salem  
 

5.

February  18:  P.T.  Barnum  and  the  Popular  Museum  

Questions  for  discussion:  What  was  Barnum’s  attitude  toward  truth?  Authenticity?    
Secondary:    
Andrea  Dennet,  Weird  and  Wonderful,  chapters  2-­‐6    
A.  W.  Bates,  “Dr  Kahn’s  Museum:  Obscene  Anatomy  in  Victorian  London.”  Journal  of  
the  Royal  Society  of  Medicine  99,  no.  12  (December  1,  2006):  618–24    
Robert  Hicks,    “The  Disturbingly  Informative  Mütter  Museum.”  In  Medical  Museums:  
Past,  Present,  Future,  edited  by  Samuel  J.  M.  M  Alberti  and  Elizabeth  Hallam,  172–85.  
London:  Royal  College  of  Surgeons  of  England,  2013.  
Primary  
The  Autobiography  of  P.T.  Barnum,  chapters  7-­‐10  
Visit  
Warren  Anatomical  Museum,  Harvard  Medical  School  
Ripley’s  Believe  it  or  Not  documentary  
 

6.

February  25:  Museums  professionalize    

Questions  for  discussion:  What  is  the  purpose  of  museums  at  the  end  of  the  19th  
century?  How  do  they  reflect  changing  demography?  Who  are  the  experts  that  shape  
them,  and  what  role  do  experts  play?  
Secondary  
Steven  Conn,  “Museums  and  the  Late  Victorian  World,”  and  “From  South  Kensington  
to  the  Louvre:  Art  Museums  and  the  Creation  of  Fine  Art,”  chapters  1  and  6  in  
Museums  and  American  Intellectual  Life,  1876-­‐1926  
Carol  Duncan,  “Public  Spaces,  Private  Interests:  Municipal  art  museums  in  New  York  
and  Chicago,”  chapter  3  in  Civilizing  Rituals:  Inside  Public  Art  Museums.    
Primary:    
George  Brown  Goode,  “The  Relationships  and  Responsibilities  of  Museums,”  Science,  
Vol.  2,  No.  34  (Aug  23,  1895),  197-­‐209.    
George  Brown  Goode,  either  “Museum-­‐History  and  Museums  of  History,”  “The  
Museums  of  the  Future,”  or  “The  Principles  of  Museum  Administration”  in  A  
Memorial  of  George  Brown  Goode  
Visitor's  guide  to  the  Smithsonian  Institution  and  National  Museum,  Washington  D.C,  
1880  

 
7.

March  4:  Anthropology  and  the  World’s  Fairs  

Questions  for  discussion:  What  role  do  museums  play  in  the  development  of  
anthropology,  and  anthropology  in  the  development  of  museums?  How  does  the  
public  work  of  anthropologists  and  curators  at  world’s  fairs  shape  their  research?  
What  role  does  politics  play?  How  do  anthropologists  reflect  and  shape  empire?    
Secondary:    
Robert  Rydell,  All  the  World’s  a  Fair:  Visions  of  Empire  at  American  International  
Expositions,  1876-­‐1916,  Introduction  and  Chapter  2.  
Barbara  Kirshenblatt-­‐Gimblett,  “Exhibiting  Jews,”  Chapter  2  in  Destination  Culture:  
Tourism,  Museums,  and  Heritage  
Steven  Conn,  “Between  Science  and  Art:  Museums  and  the  Development  of  
Anthropology,”  chapter  3,  and  “Objects  and  American  History:  The  Museums  of  
Henry  Mercer  and  Henry  Ford,”  chapter  5,  in  Museums  and  American  Intellectual  
life,  1876-­‐1926    
Mary  Jo  Arnoldi,  “From  the  Diorama  to  the  Dialogic  :  A  Century  of  Exhibiting  Africa  
at  the  Smithsonian's  Museum  of  Natural  History.”  In  Cahiers  d'études  africaines.  Vol.  
39,  No.  155-­‐156.  1999.  pp.  701-­‐726.    
Primary  
Wm.  H.  Dall  and  Franz  Boas,  “Museums  of  Ethnology  and  Their  Classification,”  
Science,  Vol.  9,  No.  228.  (Jun.  17,  1887),  pp.  587-­‐589  
American  Museum  of  Natural  History,  New  York,  Hall  of  Northwest  Coast  Indians  
(1900)  
Read  documents  and  look  at  images  of  the  Louisiana  Purchase  Exposition  and  the  
1893  World  Columbian  Exposition  
Visit  
Peabody  Museum  of  Archaeology  and  Ethnology  at  Harvard.  Look  for  the  older  
exhibits,  on  the  third  floor.  
American  Museum  of  Natural  History,  New  York,  Hall  of  Northwest  Coast  Indians    
 

8.

March  11:  Natural  History  Museums  

Questions  for  discussion:  What  role  did  museums  play  in  scientific  research?  In  
teaching  science?  How  did  that  change  and  why?  How  was  nature  used  to  teach  about  
culture  and  social  issues?  What  lesson  did  visitors  get  from  natural  history  museums?  
(Note:  read  Harraway  before  reading  Schudson.)  
Secondary:    
Stephen  Conn,  "Naked  Eye  Science:  Museums  and  Natural  History,”  chapter  2  in  The  
Museum  in  American  Intellectual  Life  
Karen  A.  Rader  and  Victoria  E.  M.  Cain,  “From  natural  history  to  science:  display  and  
the  transformation  of  American  museums  of  science  and  nature,”  Museum  and  
Society,  Jul.  2008.  6(2)  152-­‐171  
Donna  Harraway,  “Teddy  Bear  Patriarchy:  Taxidermy  in  the  Garden  of  Eden,  New  
York  City,  1908-­‐1936,”  Social  Text  No.  11  (Winter,  1984-­‐1985),  pp.  20-­‐64  
Michael  Schudson,  “Paper  Tigers:  A  Sociologist  follows  cultural  studies  into  the  
wilderness,”  Lingua  Franca,  August  1997    
Primary:  
Henry  L.  Ward,  “Modern  Exhibitional  Tendencies  of  Museums  of  Natural  History  and  
Ethnology  designed  for  public  use,”  1909.    
Visit:    
“The  Lost  Museum”  installation  in  Rhode  Island  Hall;  peruse  jenksmuseum.org  
Harvard  Museum  of  Natural  History  
Roger  Williams  Natural  History  Museum.    
 

9.

March  18:  Education  in  the  Progressive  Museum  

Questions  for  discussion:  What  was  the  educational  role  of  the  museum?  What  role  do  
artifacts  play?    
Secondary:    
Carol  G.  Duncan,  A  Matter  of  Class:  John  Cotton  Dana,  Progressive  Reform,  and  the  
Newark  Museum,  chapter  7,  “The  Consumer  in  the  Museum”  
George  Hein,  “Museum  Education  in  the  Progressive  Era,”  Chapter  4  in  Progressive  
Museum  Practice  
Jeffrey  Trask,  Things  American:  Art  Museums  and  Civic  Culture  in  the  Progressive  Era,  
chapters  1,  2,  5  and  6  
Antoniette  M  Guglielmo,  “The  Metropolitan  Museum  of  Art  as  an  Adjunct  of  Factory:  
Richard  F.  Bach  and  the  Resolution  Between  Gilman’s  Temple  and  Dana’s  

Department  Store,”  Curator:  The  Museum  Journal,  vol.  55,  no.  2  (April  2012):  203-­‐
214  
“Isabella  Stewart  Gardner’s  Museum,”  chapter  6  in  David  Carrier,  Museum  
Skepticism  
Primary:  
Read  something  by  John  Cotton  Dana,  e.g.  The  New  Museum,  The  Gloom  of  the  
Museum,  or  A  plan  for  a  new  Museum  
Benjamin  Ives  Gilman,  Museum  ideals  of  purpose  and  method,  1918      
Mrs.  Schuyler  Van  Rensselaer  and  M.  G.  Van  Rensselaer,  “The  Art  Museum  and  the  
Public,”  The  North  American  Review,  Vol.  205,  No.  734  (Jan.,  1917),  pp.  81-­‐92    
Metropolitan  Museum  of  Art  annual  reports  
Visit  
Isabella  Stewart  Gardner  Museum,  Boston.    
AnnMaryBrown  Memorial  (use  this  guide)??  
 
~~~~(spring  break!)~~~~(visit  museums!)~~~~~  
 

10.

April  1:  Reinventing  the  Art  Museum  

Questions  for  discussion:  Who  are  art  museums  for?  Are  they  museums  or  art  or  
museums  of  art  history?  How  do  they  decide  what  to  show?  How  do  museums  shape  a  
canon  of  art?  What’s  included?  How  does  display  shape  the  meaning  of  art,  and  how  
do  displays  change?    
Secondary  
Jeffrey  Trask.  Things  American:  Art  Museums  and  Civic  Culture  in  the  Progressive  Era.  
Philadelphia:  University  of  Pennsylvania  Press,  2012,  chapters  3,  5  and  6  
Curt  Germundson,  “Alexander  Dorner's  Atmosphere  Room:  The  Museum  as  
Experience,”  Visual  Resources:  An  International  Journal  of  Documentation,  21:3,  263-­‐
273,  2005  
Neil  Harris,  “Presenting  King  Tut,”  chapter  7  in  Capital  Culture:  J.  Carter  Brown,  the  
National  Gallery  of  Art,  and  the  Reinvention  of  the  Museum  Experience.    
Primary  
Visit  RISD  Archives  to  see  Dorner  papers  
Thomas  Hoving,  Making  the  Mummies  Dance:  Inside  the  Metropolitan  Museum  of  Art,  

chapter  11,  “Harlem  on  my  mind”  
Visit  
RISD  Museum,  Worcester  Museum  of  Art,  Museum  of  Fine  Arts,  Boston  (older  
wings)  
 

11.

April  8:  The  History  Museum  Crisis  

Questions  for  discussion:  Are  history  museums  places  that  reinforce  traditional  ideas  
about  history  or  that  challenge  them?  What  role  do  artifacts  play  in  interpretation?  
What  role  should  the  subjects  of  an  exhibition  play?  What’s  the  right  balance  between  
expert  and  audience  interests?  How  to  balance  political,  social,  and  cultural  history?    
 
Secondary  
Gary  Kulik,  “Designing  the  past:  History:  Museum  exhibitions  from  Peale  to  the  
present.”  In  History  Museums  in  the  United  States:  A  Critical  Assessment,  Warren  Leon  
and  Roy  Rosenzweig,  eds  ,  1989  
William  Walker,  A  Living  Exhibition,  chapter  2  
Andrea  Witcomb,  “From  Batavia  to  Australia  II:  negotiating  change  in  curatorial  
practice,”  Chapter  3  in  Re-­‐imagining  the  Museum:  Beyond  the  Mausoleum  (2002)  
Scott  Magelssen,  “Making  History  in  the  Second  Person:  Post-­‐touristic  
Considerations  for  Living  Historical  Interpretation,”  Theatre  Journal  58  (2006)  291–
312
Primary  
Cary  Carson,  “The  End  of  History  Museums:  What’s  Plan  B?”,  The  Public  Historian,  
Nov.  2008  
Ron  Chew,  “Toward  a  More  Agile  Model  of  Exhibit  Making,”  Museum  News,  
November/December  2000  
John  Durel  and  Anita  Nowery  Durel,  “A  Golden  Age  for  Historic  Properties,”  History  
News,  Summer  2007  
Kohn,  Richard  H.  “History  and  the  Culture  Wars:  The  Case  of  the  Smithsonian  
Institution’s  Enola  Gay  Exhibition.”  The  Journal  of  American  History  82,  no.  3  
(December  1,  1995):  1036–1063.    
Some  Notes  on  the  Future  of  History  Museums,  Center  for  the  Future  of  Museums  
blog  
Future  of  History  Museums  session  at  American  Historical  Association,  2014  (video)  
Fred  Wilson  and  Howard  Halle,  “Mining  the  Museum,”  Grand  Street  No.  44  (1993),  
pp.  151-­‐172  

Visit:  
Museum  of  Work  and  Culture,  Woonsocket,  RI  
Lippett  House  Museum,  Providence  
Newport  Mansions,  Newport,  RI  
 
~~~~NOTE:  paper  proposal  due  April  10~~~~  
 

12.

April  15:  The  Experience  Revolution  and  the  Virtual  Museum  

Questions  for  discussion:  Should  museums  be  fun?  How  do  they  balance  the  
educational  and  experiential?  What  is  their  relationship  with  places  like  Disneyworld  
and  other  themed  environments?    
Secondary  
Hilde  Heine,  “The  Experiential  Museum,”  Chapter  1  in  Public  Art:  Thinking  Museums  
Differently  
Kerstin  Barndt,  “Fordist  Nostalgia:  History  and  Experience  at  The  Henry  Ford,”  
Rethinking  History  Vol.  11,  No.  3,  September  2007,  pp.  379  –  410    
Robinson  Meyer,  “The  Museum  of  the  Future  is  Here”  The  Atlantic  Online  1/20/2015  
Susan  G.  Davis,  Spectacular  Nature:  Corporate  Culture  and  the  Sea  World  Experience  
Primary  
B.  Joseph  Pine  and  James  H  Gilmore,  “Welcome  to  the  Experience  Economy”  
Visit  
Cooper  Hewitt  Museum,  New  York  
Science  Museum,  Boston  
Providence  Children’s  Museum  
 

13.

April  22:  Museums  and  Social  Engagement  

Questions  for  discussion:  What  role  should  museums  play?  Do  museums  have  an  
obligation  to  work  for  social  justice?  How  should  they  redress  their  own  troubled  
history?  How  should  they  measure  their  results?  Who  are  museums  for?  
 
Secondary  

Richard  Sandell, “Museums and the Combating  of  Social  Inequality:  Roles,  
Responsibilities,  Resistance,” in Museums,  Society, Inequality,  pp. 3-­‐23  
Richard  Sandell,  The  Social  Work  of  Museums,  pp.  1-­‐7,  chapter  2-­‐3.  
Amy  Lonetree, “Missed Opportunities: Reflections  on the NMAI,”  The  American  
Indian  Quarterly,  Volume  30,  Number  3&4,  Summer/Fall  2006,  pp.  632-­‐64  
Primary
Joint  Statement  from  Museum  Bloggers  and  Colleagues  on  Ferguson  and  related  
events  and  explore  links  
Read  one  of  these  three  (to  be  assigned  in  class):  
American  Association  of  Museums,  Excellence  and  Equity  (2008)
American  Association  of  Museums,  Mastering  Civic  Engagement:  A  Challenge  
to  Museums  (2002)  
Scottish  Museums  Council,  Museums  and  Social  Justice  (2000)  
 

14.

April  29:  Real  and  Virtual  

Questions  for  discussion:  How  does  the  rise  of  the  digital  change  museums?  How  does  
the  use  and  meaning  of  objects  change  when  digital  surrogates  are  available?  What  is  
gained  and  what  is  lost?  How  to  archive  the  digital?    
 
Secondary  
Choose  essays  from  Fiona  Cameron  and  Sarah  Kenderdine,  Theorizing  digital  
cultural  heritage:  a  critical  discourse  
Primary  
G.  Wayne  Clough,  Best  of  Both  Worlds:  Museums,  Libraries  and  Archives  in  a  Digital  
Age  
Creating  a  Digital  Smithsonian  
Smithsonian  Digitization  and  Digital  Asset  Management  Policy,  Smithsonian  Directive  
610,  2011  
Derby  Museums  Digital  Engagement  Strategy  
labs.cooperhewitt.org  
Curarium,  at  http://metalab.harvard.edu/2014/05/what-­‐is-­‐curarium/  and  
http://curarium-­‐blog.herokuapp.com/  and  http://curarium.com/    

Visit  
Cooperhewitt.org  
http://www.si.edu/Collections    
 
~~~~Final  paper  due  May  1~~~~  

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