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2003/1 Summaries

From Nordisk Museologi 2003/1, SUMMARY pp. 3-16

Beate Knuth Federsoiel

The concept of conservation in the 20th century 

The professionalisation of conservation took shape during the 20th century and is marked by the increasing application of advanced technical equipment in examinations and treatments, along with the strengthening of the theoretical and methodological approach, and the establishing of formalized education in conservation. This development is analysed against the background of the international situation after the 2nd World War in particular with regard to the organisational and conceptual structure in the field of culture. The article discusses some of the central concepts in heritage conservation as reflected in legal instruments to protect cultural heritage and their consequences for conservation theory and practice - in particular the notion of 'culture' and 'world heritage' in the age of globalisation.

Beate Knuth Federspiel, Konservator
Konservatorskolen, Det Kgl. Danske Kunstakademi, Esplanaden 34, DK-1263 København K
E-mail: bkf@kons.dk

From Nordisk Museologi 2003/1, SUMMARY pp. 17-38

Bjarne Sode Funch

The Phenomenological Method in Museological Research 

The phenomenological method is closely associated with the study of human consciousness. In museum studies the phenomenological approach is essential for gaining an understanding of why museum collections are established and how they may influence the museum audience.
This article introduces the structure of human consciousness and the principles of the phenomenological method. The various stages of the phenomenological approach are put forward starting from an experiment carried out at the Art Museum in Esbjerg concerning how people are influenced by different kinds of introduction to art. Introspection and retrospection are first laid out as phenomenological strategies for observing what is going on within consciousness. Some of the major difficulties in studying the living stream of consciousness or an experience as it is later recalled in consciousness, are discussed. The following interview is defined as an explorative approach to a specific pheno­menon. It is presented as a dialogue meant to inspire a person to describe the experience he or she has had and to make it possible for the researcher to grasp this experience through empathy. The aim of the final phenomenological description is to define the basic char­acteristics of the phenomenon in question. Epoché or phenomenological reduction is used in this context as a strategy for describing the phenomenon as it appears in consciousness, and the eidetic variation as a strategy for identifying the fundamental characteristics of the same phenomenon. Finally, the phenomenological description provides a basis for evaluating the influence of a specific phenomenon on human existence.

Bjarne Sode Funch, Ekstern lektor i personlighedspsykologi Institut for Psykologi, Københavns Universitet
E-mail: bjarne.funch@psy.ku.dk

From Nordisk Museologi 2003/1, SUMMARY pp. 39-50

 Lennart Palmqvist

This article attempts to give a view of how the Romans provided means of reception of the 'cultural heritage' and art exhibitions. The different modes of exhibition are discussed in context of the three different venues of reception: the public sphere (negotium), the semi-public sphere of the Roman atrium, and the sphere of the private house (otium). The article also remarks on the formalized management and policy concerning the cultural heritage that developed in Rome from the time of Augustus. Particular emphasis is made on the role of the new office of curator created by Augustus. The conclusion is that exhibitions formed an important part of Roman culture from the late Republic until late Antiquity, but had different functions in different contexts.

Lennart Palmqvist är klassisk arkeolog och leder den akademiska undervisningen i museivetenskap och kulturarvskunskap samt är kursföbreståndare for curator- och projektledarutbildningar vid Stockholms universitet.
Adr. Historiska institutionen vid Stockholms universitet, 10691 Stockholm
E-post: lennart.palmqvist@historia.su.se

From Nordisk Museologi 2003/1, SUMMARY pp. 71-94

 Mattias Bäckström

Museums as mirrors of differing concepts of heritage 

The museum - is it more a reflection of the present than an entrance to the past? In this essay we visit four museums from four different eras to investigate how the ideals of the contemporary society were mirrored in the museum's preservation and exhibition practices. The museums, all located in Stockholm, are: The Royal Museum founded in 1792 which focused on the classical heritage; the Nordiska Museet 1873 and Skansen 1891 with their interest in Nordic folk culture; the Museum of National Antiquities and the Office of Cultural Heritage Management in the days of their important reorganisation around 1940; and finally the Swedish Travelling Exhibitions established in 1965 with its distributive and democratic ideas. I have used the typology of Friedrich Nietzsche from Vom Nutzen und Nachteil der Historie für das Leben revised by the historian Svante Beckman in order to understand the differences. The museums are positioned in an analytic diagram (p. 72) according to the ideals which were fundamental in the construction of the respective institutions. In the centre Heritage, at the top Society perspective, at the bottom Individual perspective, to the left Cognitive emphasis, to the right Emotive emphasis. The conclusions are condensed in the diagram on p. 88.

Mattias Bäckström, Antikvarie vid Länsmuseet Västernorrland, Härnösand Studerar f.n. idéhistoria vid Göteborgs universitet
E-mail: mattias.backstrom@telia.com

From Nordisk Museologi 2003/1, SUMMARY pp. 95-110

 Eric Hedqvist

National romanticism in a natural history museum of 1923

In Göteborg on the West coast of Sweden a large zoo­logical exhibition belonging to a natural history muse­um set up in 1923 has been kept well preserved right up to the present day. Only modest changes have been made during the 80 years since the inauguration of the museum. The architectural style of the building is that of national romanticism dating from the years before the First World War. The decision to build the muse­um was taken before the war. The exhibition is organised according a systemisation of the animal kingdom used by the German zoologist Carl Gegenbaur (1826— 1903). It is however largely constructed in the spirit of Carolus Linnæus (1707—1778), whose scientific ethic was manifested in his magnum opus Systema naturae: "Nominaenim si pereunt, perit & cognitio rerum."The keeper of the museum Leonard Jägerskiöld (1867— 1945) had already declared in 1903 that a modern zoo­logical museum had to show in its exhibitions results from the most recent research. Why this programme was never realized is a question which might be related to the mental climate in Sweden, and Göteborg in par­ticular, during the period before the war. The leading professors of the College of Göteborg together with the dominant group among the clergy were afraid that modern science might pose a threat to the values of Christian belief and idealistic philosophy. In books and oratory they agitated, sometimes vehemently, against modern science and its alleged materialism. In this in­tellectual environment an exhibition of modern, Dar­winian biology, would necessarily have been regarded as a provocation. In contrast an exhibition which in different ways was reminiscent of Linnaeus was well suited to the demands of this period permeated as it was with nationalism.

Eric Hedqvist är doktorand i museologi vid Institutionen for kultur och medier, Umeå universitet, S-901 87 Umeå

From Nordisk Museologi 2003/1, SUMMARY pp. 129-149

 Lova Kempe

This article discusses three different exhibitions of costumes. The objective of the discussion has been to increase our understanding of how exhibitions work and the different stories they tell visitors. The perspective has been to concentrate on the exhibitions themselves, encountering them hermeneutically as stories in their own right. By analysing the exhibitions as they stand, open as well as hidden stories and messages have been found, in terms of more or less conscious metastories as well as stereotypes. Metanarratives influence visitors' comprehension of the messages of exhibitions without explicitly making their points. Also, the way exhibitions rely on previous knowledge influence what visitors may understand. As a whole, an exhibition can strengthen or create stereotype images not only of its subject matter but also of more general issues, and thereby give visitors notions about cultural heritage and the character of the past.

Lova Kempe, museolog och dräkthistoriker
Grimstagatan 163, S-162 58 Vällingby
e-mail: lovakempe@yahoo.se

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