Museum, Media, Message

Museum, Media, Message

Museum, Media, Message

Museum, Media, Message

Synopsis

Collecting together a group of talented writers, Museum, Media, Message considers, in depth, the most up-to-date approaches to museum communication including: museums as media; museums and audience; and the evaluation of museums.Addressing the need for museums to develop better knowledge of visitor experience, this volume introduces a broad range of issues, and presents the ultimate how, why and who of museum communication. Museum, Media, Message combines philosophical discussion, practical examples and case studies and examines museum communication in three sections: analyzing how museums and galleries construct and transmit complex systems of value through processes of collection and exhibition raising philosophical and management issues and exploration of work with specific audiences introducing methods for studying the audiences¿¿" experiences of communication events in museums. Perfect for people who want to develop a more critical and informed professional museum practice, and for students looking to enhance their skills of analysis and reflection, this book is of value to anyone interested in the current debates and issues of this new and growing field.

Excerpt

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Eilean Hooper-Greenhill

The third international conference in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester was held in April 1993. One hundred and twenty delegates attended from Britain, Sweden, Canada, Malta, Holland, South Africa, America, Switzerland, Taiwan, Croatia, New Zealand, France, Finland, Denmark, Greece, Portugal, India, West Indies and Malaysia.

The first and second international conferences were held in 1987 and 1990, resulting in Pearce, S. (ed.) (1989) Museum Studies in Material Culture, Leicester University Press, and Kavanagh, G. (ed.) (1991) Museum Languages—Objects and Texts and The Museums Profession—Internal and External Relations, Leicester University Press.

The third international conference took museum communication as its theme. This volume, which resulted, brings together a varied group of papers written by museum and university professionals from Britain, South Africa, Canada, America, Croatia, India, Israel and Austria. Four papers have been specially commissioned for the volume.

The papers include approaches to both theory and practice, with practical case-studies, and many of them address issues that have not been addressed before in any detail, such as adult education and museums, and the role of museums in a new South Africa.

This chapter has four main purposes: first, to outline the framework for the conference and hence for this volume; second, to review some aspects of museum communication in Britain, particularly issues relating to the museum audience; third, to relate audience research in museums to audience research in other cultural fields; and finally to describe the structure of this book.

A framework for the conference

I began to plan the conference ‘Museum: Media: Message’ in 1990. At that time, it was beginning to seem as though a conference three years later devoted to issues of communication in museums and galleries would probably be pretty topical. In 1990 we were witnessing in Britain the decline of public funding for

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