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The Museum in Transition: A Philosophical Perspective

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The Museum in Transition: A Philosophical Perspective by Hein, Hilde S., 9781560983712
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  • ISBN: 9781560983712 | 156098371X
  • Cover: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 10/1/2000
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During the past thirty years, museums of all kinds have tried to become more responsive to the interests of a diverse public by shifting from the presentation of real things to the production of experiences. With exhibitions becoming people-centered, idea-oriented, and contextualized, the boundaries between museums and the "real" world are becoming eroded, and museum professionals now admit to having a hand in the creation of reality. Design and spectacle have become central elements of display, while the integrity of the object, once the focal point of museum exhibition, ultimately has given way to more interpretive devices.

Setting the transition from object-centered to story-centered exhibitions in a philosophical framework, Hilde S. Hein contends that glorifying the museum experience at the expense of objects deflects the museum's educative, ethical, and aesthetic roles. Referring to institutions ranging from art museums to theme parks, she shows how deployment has replaced amassing as a goal and discusses how museums now actively shape and create values.

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