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M&H Show 2011 - Using Stored Collections


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Presentation by Suzanne Keene (UCL) on her research into more effective ways of promoting the use of Stored Collections, based on her Collections for People research programme.

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M&H Show 2011 - Using Stored Collections

  1. 1. Collections for People: making stores work harder 1 – About collections Pilgrim Trust
  2. 2. Those difficult questions I suppose you use the objects to change the things in the exhibitions? Hmm, exhibitions don’t work quite like that I suppose people come and work on the objects for research? Please don’t ask how many people ... Why do you have collections when you can’t display them? Ah, they’re the heart of the museum, you see But can you afford the storage cost if they are only useful for a few researchers? But they’re for the future!
  3. 3. How did we get here? Cataloguing the natural world Mass production and consumerism Urban development - archaeology Disappearing worlds - ethnography
  4. 4. Admit it, we just love to collect
  5. 5. Collections - 1001 kinds <ul><li>Art / aesthetic </li></ul><ul><li>Functional objects </li></ul><ul><li>Archives for research </li></ul><ul><li>Places & people collections </li></ul>
  6. 6. Why should people want museums to have collections? <ul><li>Economists and the cultural value debate … </li></ul>
  7. 7. Kinds of cultural value <ul><li>Authenticity value </li></ul><ul><li>Symbolic value </li></ul><ul><li>Historical value </li></ul><ul><li>Spiritual value </li></ul><ul><li>Aesthetic value </li></ul>
  8. 8. Authenticity value – research eg, authenticating Vermeer: depends on 100’s of humbler objects
  9. 9. Symbolic value – identity Canada Europe (Vienna) Australia UK
  10. 10. Historical value – learning
  11. 11. Spiritual value - creativity <ul><li>These massless bodies have been made visible through the effective exploitation of their inherent flatness. </li></ul><ul><li>The thin, pentagonal shapes are ... composed with both harmony and sobriety ... ‘ </li></ul>Byrne & Smith, sound installation, The sculpture of the Grant Museum Brittle stars are found in …
  12. 12. Spiritual values - history, memory, discovery
  13. 13. Aesthetic value – enjoyment of beauty
  14. 15. Values >> Uses <ul><li>Authenticity value >> Research </li></ul><ul><li>Symbolic value >> Memory, identity </li></ul><ul><li>Historical value >> Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Spiritual value >> Creativity </li></ul><ul><li>Aesthetic value >> Enjoyment of beauty </li></ul>
  15. 16. Use values and even “Non-use” values Existence value Option value Bequest value Prestige value
  16. 17. Future museums?
  17. 18. Future museums? My hero! Mark Dion, installation artist
  18. 19. Next, some evidence