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Legacies

Author: Steven D. Lubar
Publisher: Smithsonian Inst Scholarly Pr
ISBN:
Size: 14.16 MB
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In this lavishly illustrated guide to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick tell the stories behind more than 250 of the museum's treasures, many of them never before photographed for publication. These stories not only reveal what America as a nation has decided to save and why but also speak to changing visions of national identity.

Legacies

Author: Steven Lubar
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution
ISBN: 1935623486
Size: 33.30 MB
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The Smithsonian Institution has been America's museum since 1846. What do its vast collections -- from the ruby slippers to a piece of Plymouth Rock, first ladies' gowns to patchwork quilts, a Model T Ford to a customized Ford LTD low rider -- tell Americans about themselves? In this lavishly illustrated guide to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick tell the stories behind more than 250 of the museum's treasures, many of them never before photographed for publication. These stories not only reveal what America as a nation has decided to save and why but also speak to changing visions of national identity. As the authors demonstrate, views of history change over time, methods of historical investigation evolve and improve, and America's understanding of the past matures. Shifts in focus and attitude lie at the hearth of Legacies, which is organized around four concepts of what a national museum of history can be: a treasure house, a shrine to the famous, a palace of progress, and a mirror of the nation. Thus, the museum collects cherished or precious objects, houses celebrity memorabilia, documents technological advances, and reflects visitors' own lives. Taking examples from science and technology, politics, decorative arts, military history, ethnic heritage, popular culture and everyday life, the authors provide historical context for the work of the Smithsonian and shed new light on what is important, and who is included, in American history. Throughout its history, Lubar and Kendrick conclude, the museum has played a vital role in both shaping and reflecting America's sense of itself as a nation. From the Hardcover edition.

A Living Exhibition

Author: William S. Walker
Publisher:
ISBN: 9781625340269
Size: 53.93 MB
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Since its founding in 1846 "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge," the Smithsonian Institution has been an important feature of the American cultural landscape. In A Living Exhibition, William S. Walker examines the tangled history of cultural exhibition at the Smithsonian from its early years to the chartering of the National Museum of the American Indian in 1989. He tracks the transformation of the institution from its original ideal as a "universal museum" intended to present the totality of human experience to the variegated museum and research complex of today. Walker pays particular attention to the half century following World War II, when the Smithsonian significantly expanded. Focusing on its exhibitions of cultural history, cultural anthropology, and folk life, he places the Smithsonian within the larger context of Cold War America and the social movements of the 1960s, '70s, and '80s. Organized chronologically, the book uses the lens of the Smithsonian's changing exhibitions to show how institutional decisions become intertwined with broader public debates about pluralism, multiculturalism, and decolonization. Yet if a trend toward more culturally specific museums and exhibitions characterized the postwar history of the institution, its leaders and curators did not abandon the vision of the universal museum. Instead, Walker shows, even as the Smithsonian evolved into an extensive complex of museums, galleries, and research centers, it continued to negotiate the imperatives of cultural convergence as well as divergence, embodying both a desire to put everything together and a need to take it all apart.

Inside The Lost Museum

Author: Steven Lubar
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674983297
Size: 38.19 MB
Format: PDF
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Museum lovers know that energy and mystery run through every exhibition. Steven Lubar explains work behind the scenes—collecting, preserving, displaying, and using art and artifacts in teaching, research, and community-building—through historical and contemporary examples, especially the lost but reimagined Jenks Museum at Brown University.

Analyzing Art And Aesthetics

Author: Anne Collins Goodyear
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution
ISBN: 1935623230
Size: 27.44 MB
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This ninth volume of the Artefacts series explores how artists have responded to developments in science and technology, past and present. Rather than limiting the discussion to art alone, editors Anne Collins Goodyear and Margaret Weitekamp also asked contributors to consider aesthetics: the scholarly consideration of sensory responses to cultural objects. When considered as aesthetic objects, how do scientific instruments or technological innovations reflect and embody culturally grounded assessments about appearance, feel, and use? And when these objects become museum artifacts, what aesthetic factors affect their exhibition? Contributors found answers in the material objects themselves. This volume reconsiders how science, technology, art, and aesthetics impact one another.

American Cool

Author: Joel Dinerstein
Publisher: Prestel Pub
ISBN: 9783791353494
Size: 59.27 MB
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What does it mean when we say someone is cool? This luminous collection of portraits and film stills sheds new light on the term, its origins, and its evolution--with some surprising and provocative results. An extensive selection of one hundred chronologically arranged portraits, with biographical information about each subject, profiles major eras and movements of the past decades, each with its own brand of coolness. Exploring cultural icons, this volume encourages readers to find new meaning and depth in the idea of American cool.

The First Smithsonian Collection

Author: Helena E. Wright
Publisher: Smithsonian Institution
ISBN: 193562363X
Size: 47.10 MB
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In 1849 the Smithsonian purchased the Marsh Collection of European engravings. Not only the first collection of any kind to be acquired by the new Institution, it was also the first public print collection in the nation, and it presented an important symbol of cultural authority. The prints formed part of the library of Vermont Congressman George Perkins Marsh (1801-1882), a member of the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents. The uncertainty of the Smithsonian's mission in the early years complicated its motivation for purchasing the collection, especially given Marsh’s position as a Regent in financial difficulty. After a serious fire in 1865, portions of the collection were deposited at the Library of Congress and the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Efforts to reclaim it began in the 1880s, as a new generation of Smithsonian staff expanded the National Museum, but they achieved only mixed success. Through the story of the Marsh Collection, the book explores the cultural values attributed to prints in the 19th century, including their prominent role in expositions and their influence on visual culture at a time when collecting styles were moving from an individual’s private contemplation of artworks to wider public venues of exposition in museums and reception by multiple audiences. The history of this first Smithsonian collection enlivens an important stage in the development of American cultural identity and in the formation of the Smithsonian as a national institution.

Encyclopedia Of American Folklore

Author: Linda S. Watts
Publisher: Infobase Publishing
ISBN: 1438129793
Size: 15.25 MB
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Presents an A-to-Z reference to American folklore with articles on folk heroes, authors, significant historical events, cultural groups, social aspects and more.

The Invention Of The American Art Museum

Author: Kathleen Curran
Publisher: Getty Publications
ISBN: 1606064789
Size: 62.42 MB
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American art museums share a mission and format that differ from those of their European counterparts, which often have origins in aristocratic collections. This groundbreaking work recounts the fascinating story of the invention of the modern American art museum, starting with its roots in the 1870s in the craft museum type, which was based on London’s South Kensington (now the Victoria and Albert) Museum. At the turn of the twentieth century, American planners grew enthusiastic about a new type of museum and presentation that was developed in Northern Europe, particularly in Germany, Switzerland, and Scandinavia. Called Kulturgeschichte (cultural history) museums, they were evocative displays of regional history. American trustees, museum directors, and curators found that the Kulturgeschichte approach offered a variety of transformational options in planning museums, classifying and displaying objects, and broadening collecting categories, including American art and the decorative arts. Leading institutions, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, adopted and developed crucial aspects of the Kulturgeschichte model. By the 1930s, such museum plans and exhibition techniques had become standard practice at museums across the country.