Memory institutions: museums

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Class about museums as memory institutions for the BA Cultural Information Science, University of Amsterdam

Class about museums as memory institutions for the BA Cultural Information Science, University of Amsterdam

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  • 1. MuseumsInformatie en Cultureel Geheugen Universiteit van Amsterdam CIW - 2012 Trilce Navarrete Hernandez
  • 2. Museum  as  Memory  Ins-tu-ons  There  is  an  interest  to  document  informa-on  as  not  to  forget.    Museums  are  a  place  where  society  has  been  able  to  collect  and   preserve  informa-on  from  the  past.  Informa-on  has  generally  been  collected  as  objects  (tangible)   and  at  -mes  also  as  ideas  (intangible).  Collec-ng  objects  goes  together  with  collec-ng  knowledge.   ICG  -­‐  Trilce  Navarrete  
  • 3. Museum  as  Memory  Ins-tu-ons  •  Brief  history:  The  first  museum  dates  from  3rd  century  BC,  the  Museum  of   Alexandria:  it  housed  knowledge  in  many  forms,  in  the   museum,  libraries,  (botanical)  gardens  and  laboratories  (and   spaces  for  personal  exchange).    The  museum  served  as  center  for  learning  with  a  universal   collec-on.  Different  objects  transmit  different  type  of   informa-on  (words,  object,  image  and  text).  This  ideal  holis-c  view  would  last  for  centuries.   ICG  -­‐  Trilce  Navarrete  
  • 4. Museum  as  Memory  Ins-tu-ons  Universal  collec-ons:  -­‐  Samuel  Quiccheber:  Universal  Theater  (1565)  Collec-on  including  all  the  books  for  the  world,   all  rare  beasts  and  all  rare  birds  (books,   botanical,  man/nature  made)  -­‐  Francesco  I:  Studiolo  (1570)  Representa-on  of  the  world  in  a  microcosms  -­‐  Paul  Otlet  and  Henri  la  Fontaine:    Mundaneum  (1910)  17  million  documents  from  around  the  world  -­‐  Jacques  Chirac:  Europeana  (2008)  Gives  access   to  over  20million  objects  from  34  countries   Francesco I studiolo, 1570 ICG  -­‐  Trilce  Navarrete  
  • 5. Museum  as  Memory  Ins-tu-ons  In  the  16th  century,  a  clear  dis-nc-on  emerged  between  types  of  collec-ons   Cabinet  of  curiosi/es,  or   studios  meant  to  collect   scien-fic  collec-ons.  They   collected  the  ‘most  rare   and  wondrous’  and   therefore  excluded  99.9%   of  the  universe.  The   Studio  was  a  closed  room   for  study.   "Musei Wormiani Historia", the frontispiece from the Museum Wormianum depicting Ole Worms cabinet of curiosities. ICG  -­‐  Trilce  Navarrete  
  • 6. Museum  as  Memory  Ins-tu-ons  Gallery,  as  art  collec-on   was  a  place  to  visit,  to   ‘pass  through’,   organized  taxonomically   (chronologically,  by   symmetry  and  color).   These  were  visual   libraries.   De schilderijengalerij van Cornelis van der Geest, door Willem van Haecht (1628) ICG  -­‐  Trilce  Navarrete  
  • 7. Museum  as  Memory  Ins-tu-ons  Botanical  gardens,  or  living  plant   collec-ons,  ordered   geometrically  and  scien-fically   (Linnaean  system).  Generally   associated  with  universi-es    Pisa  (1543),  Padua  (1545),  Zurich   (1560),  Leiden  (1587),  Montpellier   (1593),  Oxford  (1620)   ICG  -­‐  Trilce  Navarrete   Rudbecks own design for the botanical garden (1675)
  • 8. Museum  as  Memory  Ins-tu-ons  The  word  ‘museum’  would  eventually  encompass  them  all  by   signifying  a  process  of  organizing,  compiling  and  colla-ng  of   objects.  In  the  16th  century,  ‘musaeum’  denoted  a  classificatory  structure   for  a  wide  variety  of  texts,  including  dic-onaries  (galleria  di   parole)  and  scien-fic  journals.  Museums  gave  the   organiza-on  to  all  known  ideas  and  artefacts,  thus  solving  the   apparent  ‘crisis  of  knowledge’  of  the  16th  and  17th  centuries   (Findlen,  2007)   ICG  -­‐  Trilce  Navarrete  
  • 9. Museum  as  Memory  Ins-tu-ons  In  the  18th  century  collec-ons  specialized,  merged  and  expanded   leading  to  the  Na-onal  Galleries  (art)  Louvre  (1793),  Rijksmuseum  (1808),  Brera  in  Milan  (1818),  Prado  in  Madrid   (1819),  Na-onal  Gallery  and  Bri-sh  Museum  in  London  (1824),  Hermitage   in  St.Petersburg  (1852)   ICG  -­‐  Trilce  Navarrete  
  • 10. Museum  as  Memory  Ins-tu-ons  Science  and  technology  museums  gained  popularity  with  the   discovery  of  the  ‘New  World’  and  with  the  great  industrial   advancements  (World  Fair,  London  1851)   1851 London 1889 Paris ICG  -­‐  Trilce  Navarrete  
  • 11. Museum  as  Memory  Ins-tu-ons  Other  collec-ons  evolved  to  become  History  museums,   Zoological  Gardens,  and  Open-­‐air  museums.   The Versailles menagerie during the reign of Louis XIV in the 17th century The Old Town—an open-air museum in ICG  -­‐  Trilce  Navarrete   the city of Aarhus, Denmark
  • 12. Museum  as  Memory  Ins-tu-ons  The  type  of  object  defines  the  collec-on      –yet  all  collec-ons  have  all  type  objects.   Paintings gallery, 1838 Fossils room, 1885Science and Arts crowned by Fame, 1886 ICG  -­‐  Trilce  Navarrete   Oval room, 1784 Library, 1885
  • 13. Museum  as  Memory  Ins-tu-ons  The  message  delivered  depends  on  the  context.  The  building   serves  as  ini-al  ‘frame’  or  context.     ICG  -­‐  Trilce  Navarrete   Guggenheim New York, Frank Loyd Wright, 1959
  • 14. Museum  as  Memory  Ins-tu-ons  Museums  are  currently  exploring  possible  new  future  roles   (technology  /  informa-on  /  people).   ICG  -­‐  Trilce  Navarrete  
  • 15. Museum  as  Memory  Ins-tu-ons  Conclusions  Museums  are  social  ins-tu-ons  that  have  collected,  preserved   and  transmijed  informa-on  through  the  genera-ons.  Objects  and  ideas  are  the  core  of  the  ins-tu-on.  Museums’  role  as  social  memory  ins-tu-ons  has  become  more   prominent  with  the  opening  of  Na-onal  Galleries.    Currently,  the  inclusion  of  intangible  heritage  and  the  use  of   media  technology  to  reposi-on  collec-ons  new  roles  are   being  explored  (Who’s  heritage?  Who’s  story?  Where  to   access?).   ICG  -­‐  Trilce  Navarrete