Keepers of Culture, Catalysts for Change: The History of Museums and their Role in the Future
Museums are much more than containers of things. They are institutions that reveal a great deal about the interests, outlooks, and attitudes of the cultures that produce and use them. From what they put on view to how it is displayed, from who controls their contents to how they fit into larger intellectual and social programs, museums provide a unique point of view into cultural moments both past and present.
This webinar explores the history of the museum, and its role as an educational and social force. As we trace its development from the princely collection of early-Modern Europe, through the public institutions of the Enlightenment Age, to the Progressive-Era foundations of American civic museums, we discuss how the motivations and goals of museums have reflected the values of their societies in their practices of collecting, categorizing, and display. In addition, we consider the complex issues surrounding the modern museum: in this shifting landscape, how do museums respond to the competing needs of stakeholders? And what is the role of museums in structuring knowledge for their constituencies today?
museums, culture, history
Fluke, Meredith; Dyer, Kristyn; and Office of Alumni Relations, College of the Holy Cross, "Keepers of Culture, Catalysts for Change: The History of Museums and their Role in the Future" (2020). Live Lectures Series. 8.