Museums in the Second World War (inbunden)
Inbunden (Hardback)
Antal sidor
Keene, Suzanne (red.)
black and white 2 Tables 9 Line drawings, black and white 54 Halftones black and white 65 Illus
9 Line drawings, black and white; 54 Halftones, black and white; 2 Tables, black and white; 65 Illus
234 x 158 x 25 mm
612 g
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Museums in the Second World War (inbunden)

Museums in the Second World War

Curators, Culture and Change

Inbunden Engelska, 2017-06-06
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Exploring the role of museums, galleries and curators during the upheaval of the Second World War, this book challenges the accepted view of a hiatus in museum services during the conflict and its immediate aftermath. Instead it argues that new thinking in the 1930s was realised in a number of promising initiatives during the war only to fail during the fragmented post-war recovery. Based on new research including interviews with retired museum staff, letters, diaries, museum archives and government records, this study reveals a complex picture of both innovation and inertia. At the outbreak of war precious objects were stored away and staff numbers reduced, but although many museums were closed, others successfully campaigned to remain open. By providing innovative modern exhibitions and education initiatives they became popular and valued venues for the public. After the war, however, museums returned to their more traditional, collections-centred approach and failed to negotiate the public funding needed for reconstruction based on this narrower view of their role. Hence, in the longer term, the destruction and economic and social consequences of the conflict served to delay aspirations for reconstruction until the 1960s. Through this lens, the history of the museum in the mid-twentieth century appears as one shaped by the effects of war but equally determined by the input of curators, audiences and the state. The museum thus emerges not as an isolated institution concerned only with presenting the past but as a product of the changing conflicts and cultures within society.
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Övrig information

Catherine Pearson, Author, Independent Historian and Scholar, UK. She is the editor of the journals of museum curator, E.J. Rudsdale, 1920-1951. Suzanne Keene, Editor, Reader Emeritus at University College London. She has a number of published books on museum collections, most recently co-authoring Museums and Silent Objects: Designing Effective Exhibitions.


Timeline: Major events around the Second World War and the Home Front Introduction: a new perspective A new perspective on wartime museums The accepted history Museums in the mid twentieth century Sources and evidence Organisations Individuals in politics and organisations Individuals in museums PART I: 1918-1939: Between the wars Chapter 1 Between the wars: museums and cultural politics Education, the electorate and museums The need to reform the museum service The Miers Report and the Royal Commission on National Museums and Galleries Towards modernity Regional museum federations A significant period for museums Chapter 2 Charting progress: the Markham report Social and economic reforms: the context for the review Education and citizenship The bid for a nationwide museum service The Second World War: impediment or impetus? Miers and Markham: the modernising agenda Chapter 3 Museums before the war: the context for reform The context for reform Markham recommends a community based service Museums and identity Education in museums Employment and qualifications - women and men A new vision for provincial museums Part II: 1939-1940: At the start of the war Chapter 4 Confronting conflict: collections, closings and openings Protecting the collections Museums as war begins 1939 - The campaign to remain open: classes and concerts 1939: Openings and closings 1940: The Blitz - national museums close again Chapter 5 As war begins: from propaganda to recognition 1938-1939: Hopes for a Royal Commission 1939: Resistance to propaganda 1940-1941: Exhibits poorly conceived: propaganda withdrawn 1942: From propaganda to war artists Visitors play an active part Museums respond to wartime visitors' needs PART III: 1941-1944: During wartime Chapter 6 State support: the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA) 1940: A significant year for culture The Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA) created 1940: The establishment of CEMA 1942: The Treasury funds CEMA - Keynes as Chair Museum collaboration, alliances and federations Funded for success Chapter 7 Temples to the arts CEMA and the arts in wartime Music in museums CEMA and art exhibitions in provincial galleries The National Gallery's support for provincial museums Public enthusiasm for new services exceeds expectations Chapter 8 Planning for peacetime 1940-1945: Museums plan for reconstruction The Museums Association's 1942 Memorandum on reconstruction The Museums Association loses momentum 1944 Education Act: no provision for cultural initiatives PART IV: Reflections on wartime practice Chapter 9 Community engagement, education and exhibitions Education services develop Education services in wartime 1939: Adult education to boost conscript morale Would innovations survive? Exhibitions: a wartime service Cultural centres, citizenship and demobilisation Disruption, ideas and new meanings Focus on public service Chapter 10 Audiences in wartime Recorded visitor figures Contemporary evidence Why more visitors Who were the visitors? Reasons for visiting: popularity of culture Changing perceptions of the museum: two wartime films The new audience centred approach in wartime regional museums Tables - visitor attendance numbers Chapter 11 Memory and identity Memory in the museum space Memories of buildings and experience Memories of objects Memories based on an unexpected use of the museum Memories of shared experience Museums and those who did not visit New perceptions of museums and objects Chapter 12 Museum staff and the war Museum staff in wartime Women working in wartime museums After the war The long term cost to the museum profession Professionals and amateurs Professionalism - the unexpected consequences PART