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Museum materialities : objects, engagements, interpretations

By Sandra H. Dudley


Summary: This is an innovative interdisciplinary book about objects and people within museums and galleries. It addresses fundamental issues of human sensory, emotional and aesthetic experience of objects. The chapters explore ways and contexts in which things and people mutually interact, and raise questions about how objects carry meaning and feeling, the distinctions between objects and persons, particular qualities of the museum as context for person-object engagements, and the active and embodied role of the museum visitor. "Museum Materialities" is divided into three sections - Objects, Engagements, and, Interpretations - and includes a foreword by Susan Pearce and an afterword by Howard Morphy. It examines materiality and other perceptual and ontological qualities of objects themselves; embodied sensory and cognitive engagements - both personal and across a wider audience spread - with particular objects or object types in a museum or gallery setting; notions of aesthetics, affect and wellbeing in museum contexts; and creative and innovative artistic and museum practices that seek to illuminate or critique museum objects and interpretations. Phenomenological and other approaches to embodied experience in an emphatically material world are current in a number of academic areas, most particularly strands of material culture studies within anthropology and cognate disciplines. Thus far, however, there has been no concerted application of this kind of approach to museum collections and interactions with them by museum visitors, curators, artists and researchers. Bringing together essays by scholars and practitioners from a wide disciplinary and international base, "Museum Materialities" seeks to make just such a contribution. In so doing it makes a valuable and original addition to the literature of both material culture studies and museum studies.\ud \ud This book is available from Museum materialities : objects, sense and feeling / Sandra H. Dudley -- Photographs and history : emotion and materiality / Elizabeth Edwards -- Remembering the dead by affecting the living : the case of a miniature model of Treblinka / Andrea Witcomb -- Touching the Buddha : encounters with a charismatic object / Christopher Wingfield -- Contemporary art : an immaterial practice? / Helen Pheby -- The eyes have it : eye movements and the debatable differences between original objects and reproductions / Helen Saunderson, Alice Cruickshank and Eugene McSorley -- Experiencing materiality in the museum : artefacts re-made / Alexander Stevenson -- Virginia Woolf's glasses : material encounters in the literary/artistic house museum / Nuala Hancock -- When ethnographies enter art galleries / Lydia Nakashima Degarrod -- Engaging the material world : object knowledge and Australian journeys / Kirsten Wehner and Martha Sear -- Watch your step : embodiment and encounter at Tate Modern / Helen Rees Leahy -- Reconsidering digital surrogates : toward a viewer-orientated model of the gallery experience / Bradley L. Taylor -- Dancing pot and pregnant jar? : on ceramics, metaphors and creative labels / Wing Yan Vivian Ting -- Myth, memory and the senses in the Churchill Museum / Sheila Watson -- Dreams and wishes : the multi-sensory museum space / Viv Golding -- Making meaning beyond display / Chris Dorsett -- Authenticity and object relations in contemporary performance art / Klare Scarborough -- Afterword / Howard Morphy.Metadata only entr

Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2009
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