By Sharon Macdonald
What is going on in the back of closed doorways at museums? How are judgements approximately exhibitions made and who, or what, fairly makes them? Why are sure gadgets and types of demonstrate selected while others are rejected, and what elements effect how museum exhibitions are produced and skilled? This booklet solutions those looking questions via giving a privileged glance ‘behind the scenes’ on the technology Museum in London. by means of monitoring the heritage of a specific exhibition, Macdonald takes the reader into the area of the museum curator and indicates in shiny aspect how exhibitions are created and the way public tradition is produced. She finds why exhibitions don't constantly mirror their makers’ unique intentions and why viewers take domestic specific interpretations. past this ‘local’ context, in spite of the fact that, the publication additionally presents wide and far-reaching insights into how nationwide and international political shifts impact the construction of public wisdom via exhibitions.
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Additional resources for Behind the Scenes at the Science Museum (Materializing Culture)
4 million visitors were recorded at the Science Museum, a figure superseded only by the British Museum and the National Portrait Gallery. 35 After the introduction of charges at the Science Museum, however, the visitor figure for the NMSI – which the Science Museum delayed in producing – was down by 60 per cent. Despite the bullish statements in the press that this was only to be expected shortly after introducing charges and that figures would soon return to their previous levels, there was undoubtedly concern among the museum management.
19 To this end he pays particular attention to features of museum architecture and display techniques, as well as comments made about visitors, which illustrate concern with the public. His argument is not that this is a simple matter of control of visitors by the dominant classes as a way of the latter maintaining their class position. Rather, the public museum is a product of a liberal urge to ‘civilise’ or ‘educate’ the masses in order to produce ‘a voluntarily self-regulating citizenry’. 21 Museums, as part of the informal sector of education, were important to this in that they embodied the spirit of voluntarism which was central to the liberal idea.
Despite the bullish statements in the press that this was only to be expected shortly after introducing charges and that figures would soon return to their previous levels, there was undoubtedly concern among the museum management. If charging was partly a response to calls for greater public accountability, the decision of the public to stay away was clearly not a desirable message for the museums. Marketing, Image Management and Contest In response, museums went to new lengths to try to market themselves and make themselves attractive to visitors.