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2011/2 Abstracts

From Nordisk Museologi 2011/2, Abstract pp. 3-18


Title: Hidden liaisons? On the relation between private and public art collections.

The intention of this article is to open a debate on the too familiar dichotomy between private and public art collections. In historical and social contexts, the values as well as meanings of “private" and “public” interchange. Against this backdrop, it is tempting to question the common thinking regarding private and public collections, foremost in a Danish context. To mention just a few, more or less hidden relations: Public collections are more often than not founded on private donations and collections, and existing private collections can be open to the public as well as regulated by public legislation. In addition, private collectors can obtain a very high degree of visibility in the public sphere, they can exhibit their collections, and they can occupy important positions in the art world. Private and public collectors share common interests in visiting art fairs, knowing about upcoming galleries and artists etc., and public collectors can have their own private collections as well. In fact, we have very little research based knowledge of these liaisons.
Key words: Art museums, collections, legislation, private collectors, public sphere.
Private og offentlige kunstsamlinger?

*Hans Dam Christensen, Forskningschef, ph.d., Det informationsvidenskabelige Akademi

Det informationsvidenskabelige Akademi, Birketinget 6, DK-2300 København S.

E-mail: hdc@iva.dk

From Nordisk Museologi 2011/2, Abstract pp. 19-47


Title: Ambivalence about how state ownership of archeological finds is practised.

Abstract: Ever since Norway adopted its first Cultural Heritage Act in 1905, all newly discovered archaeological artefacts that predate AD 1537 are owned by the Norwegian state. Five designated university museums currently take care of such archaeological finds. However, private individuals often keep such finds in their possession, and in many cases archaeologists make no active effort to collect these. In order to attain knowledge about attitudes to state ownership in Norway, and the situation whereby private individuals keep archaeological finds, three surveys have been carried out: one among archaeologists and two among the public. These surveys document ambivalence about how state ownership is practiced. Although both archaeologists and members of the public support — in principle — the idea that all artefacts ought to be handed in to the museums, in practice they take a more pragmatic approach.
About 6 per cent of the respondents in the surveys conducted among the general public report that they keep archaeological finds. A personal relationship between the keeper, artefact and place/land seems to be the most important reason why such respondents keep them in their possession. Nevertheless, a majority of even these respondents still supports the public ownership of such finds — in principle.
The surveys indicate that more efforts ought to be made to stimulate the collecting of archaeological finds, as well as providing better access to such artefacts in local communities. For instance, it is suggested that a greater degree of local or private storage of artefacts might be formalised. In this regard, it is important that heritage management develop priorities, and provide archaeologists with appropriate advice in order to stimulate well-considered decisions about whether they collect artefacts to the museums or deposit them locally..
Key words: Archaeology, archaeological artefacts, cultural property, movables, collection management, collecting, Norway, archaeological museums, heritage manageme

*Atle Omland, postdoktor i arkeolog

Institutt for arkeologi, konservering og historie (IAKH), Universitet i Oslo, Postboks 1008, Blindern, 0315 Oslo


From Nordisk Museologi 2011/2, Abstract pp. 48-66


Summary: It is a basic undertaking amongst museum professionals who work with various aspects of a collections meaning, interpretation and history to explore the biography of a historical museum object. This article attempts to depart from this by conceptualizing historical, ethnographic objects as 'collecting devices’. The focus is thereby shifted from the historiography of an ethnographic object to the ways in which an object and its history can be employed as a device in staging new empirical fields for the museum anthropologist. This points toward potentials inherent to the ethnographic museum, namely the possibility that museum professionals and visitors alike can employ ethnographic objects as a means of encountering people outside the museum and everyday social world that they inhabit.
Key words: Museum anthropology, social agency, Korea, shamanism, ethnographic collecting, National Museum of Denmark.

*Martin Petersen, Assistant professor

Address: Department of Cross-cultural and Regional Studies University of Copenhagen, Leifsgade 33, 5., 2300 Copenhagen S, Denmark

Email: mpe@hum.ku.dk

From Nordisk Museologi 2011/2, Abstract pp. 67-82


Title: Stateless in a diaspora: documenting cultural heritage and the virtual museum.

Abstract: The museum as a social arena accentuates cultural encounters between individuals in unequal situations that are played out in public. Meetings between cultures are in themselves not a new phenomenon, but increased globalisation and immigration impel us as researchers of culture to repeatedly question our notions of ethnicity, cultural heritage and diaspora. This article is based on the Norwegian-Kurdish Heritage Documentation project, which has been supported by the Norsk Kulturråd (Arts Council Norway) for two periods.
The project consists of two phases. Phase I was designed to document and collect tangible and intangible cultural elements among the Kurds in the diaspora. In Phase II, which is based on the first phase, the collected materials are sorted, categorised and analysed with the intent to publish a Kurdish virtual (online) museum. The virtual communication form adapts to the conditions that life in the diaspora requires for communication and preservation of culture.
In this article, the terms "stateless” and ’’diaspora” are used. The question is whether a virtual museum can be a useful tool for cultural heritage dissemination for a stateless people in a diaspora context who are otherwise unable to communicate their culture through physical institutions.

Key words:t Stateless, diaspora, Kurds, cultural heritage, virtual museum.

*Haci Akman

Address: Allegaten 38, 5007 Bergen, Norge

E-mail: Haci.akman@ahkr.uib.no

From Nordisk Museologi 2011/2, Abstract pp. 83-98


Title: Museums, sex and gender - some reflections on a current absence.

Abstract: What is it that makes women and objects coded by women so often overshadowed in museums? And why is it so easy not to notice this fact? The article aims to discuss the amount of selection and de-selection that results in women only having a limited presence in the museum arena, so that they easily disappear from view — despite the fact that this is an absence that plays out before our very eyes. The starting point is a gender audit carried out in 2007at the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm, and the article provides a re-examination of some of the comments that came to light.

Key words: Museums, sex, gender, ethnographical museum, gender audit, exhibitions, collections, black boxes.

*Maria Bäckman, forskare, docent i etnologi

Adresse: Stockholms universitet, 10691 Stockholm

E-mail: Maria.backman@etnologi.su.se

*Simon Ekström, universitetslektor, docent i etnologi

Adresse: Stockholms universitet, 10691 Stockholm

E-mail: Simon.ekstrom@etnologi.su.se

From Nordisk Museologi 2011/2, Abstract pp. 99-111


Title: From user survey to action - turning Brandts into a place attractive for young people.

Abstract: This article is based on the work of the Learning and Visitor Services Department at the Danish cultural institution known as Brandts, with a view to turning Brandts (which consists of two specialist museums and an art exhibition venue) into a place that young people between the ages of 15 and 25 actively choose to visit as a leisure-time activity. The background for this development work lies in a survey of young users and on-users conducted at Brandts in the autumn of 2010.
The article links the results of this local qualitative survey with the results of other recent surveys of museum visitors in Denmark. In addition to covering the new ’’action plan” for Brandts, prepared with regard to the wishes and needs of young people, the article delves deeper into the considerations that lay behind the chosen focus on young people and their opportunities for informal learning and identity development within a museum context.

Key words: Brandts, young people, museums, user survey, learning, identity, leisure.

*Leslie Ann Schmidt, publikumschef på Brandts, cand. mag. i Kultur og Formidling samt læreruddannet

Adresse: Brandts, Brandts Torv 1, 5000 Odense C, Danmark

E-mail: leslie.schmidt@brandts.dk

*Lise Kapper er formidler for Mediemuseet og Museet for Fotokunst på Brandts, cand. mag. i Moderne kultur og kulturformidling

Adresse: Brandts, Brandts Torv 1, 5000 Odense C, Danmark

E-mail: lise.kapper@brandts.dk

From Nordisk Museologi 2011/2, Abstract pp. 112-124


Abstract: Unlike many other European countries, Finland does not have a Jewish museum, even though the Finnish Jewish minority has an undeniably significant and long history in the fields of science, art, economy as well as politics. In the study ”We need a visage in Finland”, the thoughts and attitudes of the Finnish Jewish minority with regard to the founding of a museum are discussed. The study clarifies the issues with which the project is supported or opposed in the Jewish community, and why. It also explains what kind of museological activities the community members feel are important and how Judaism gets presented to the parishioners themselves. Through a museum, the Finnish Jewish community would like to help build a diverse and open society by offering information about their faith and their culture, and this way do their part in hindering the prolifigation of extremism and racial hatred.

Key words:Jewish heritage in Finland, legitimacy to establish the museum.

*Pia Feinik is a bachelor of fine arts BfA, born in 1978.
Feinik is graduating with a Master’s Degree in Philosophy in the autumn of 2011 from the Master’s Degree program of cultural politics at Jyväskylä University majoring in cultural politics and art history, with a minor in museology.

Address: Puolukkapolku 4, 37130 Nokia, Finland

Email: pia.feinik@jyu.fi

From Nordisk Museologi 2011/2, Abstract pp. 125-132


Abstract: In this paper, the author focuses on the controversial life and death of György Dózsa, the sixteenth-century mercenary and leader of a peasant revolt against the upper classes, to address the questions of what is heroism and who gets to define it. Whereas earlier Marxist historians considered him a hero for challenging the rule of the upper classes (while at the same time ignoring his upper-class background), twenty-first century historiography has omitted him from the pantheon of Hungarian national heroes. This omission is highlighted most clearly in Ópusztaszer National Historical Memorial Park near Szeged in south-eastern Hungary, a region claiming to be the place where the Hungarian state was born. The statues erected to commemorate one thousand years of Hungarian statehood did not include György Dózsa; instead, they commemorate those figures who best symbolized the stability of the state. Internal dissent does not make for good national heroes.

Key words: Hungarian history memorial places, heritage sites, historiography, sponsoring.

*Hanneleena Hieta, PhD

Address: European Ethnology, FI-20014 University of Turku, Finland.

Email: Hanneleena.hieta@gmail.com

From Nordisk Museologi 2011/2, Abstract pp. 137-145


Title: The Sami - a people without prehistory?

Abstract: This Ph.D. project is connected to the Patterns of Cultural Valuation research project, which seeks to investigate how different ethnic groups and minorities have been presented and represented in Norwegian museums of cultural history during the last 150 years. I wish to analyze exhibitions at Sami museums in Norway, Sweden and Finland, with a special emphasis on how Sami prehistory is presented in these exhibitions. The starting point of my project is the research done on Sami archaeology within the last 25 years. I wish to investigate how, and to which extent, this research is being presented in the exhibitions. Exhibitions at Sami museums have been criticized for representing Sami culture as static and timeless, and in this way reproducing old-fashioned ethnographic stereotypes and doing a kind of “self orientalization”. Is it possible to avoid this within the confines of traditional ethnographic and historical-chronological representation? Sami museums are an arena where several potential problematic aspects with the museum institution in general are highlighted. Questions like Whose past? Whose land? Who has the right to represent and to be represented? are being asked. Historically, the Sami people have been presented as the exotic “other” in the national museums in Norway, Sweden and Finland. What happens when the Sami make their own exhibitions and represent themselves? And how have the national museums adapted to this new museum reality? To be able to study this, I have also included national museums with exhibitions of Sami culture and history in the analysis.

Key words:Sami museums, exhibitions, prehistory, social archaeology.

* Silje Opdahl Mathisen, stipendiat

Address: Institutt for kulturstudier og orientalske språk, Universitetet i Oslo, Postboks 1010 Blindern, 0315 OSLO, Norge

E-mail: s.o.mathisen@ikos.uio.no

From Nordisk Museologi 2011/2, Abstract pp. 146-154


Abstract: This article is based on my Ph.D. thesis, entitled An ungovernable diversity? Norwegian museum politics on the subject of local and regional museums in the period 1900 — ca. 1970 (Umeå 2009). It gives an historical account of the development of local and regional cultural history museums in Norway as a topic in Norwegian cultural policy 1900-1970. It describes how local and regional museums became a subject in Norwegian cultural policy during the twentieth century. In 1900, such institutions amounted to about fifteen. Seventy years later, the number was more than two hundred. The museums appear in this perspective as a cultural phenomenon in their own age, a phenomenon to which the Norwegian Parliament, the Ministry of Education and the museum profession attached both interpretations and conceptions. At the centre of their interest was the need to implement measures to ensure that these museums submitted to the main museums concerning key tasks, such as the preservation of objects of cultural value. It was important for the Parliament to create a policy based on accountability and equal treatment.

Key words: Museum politics, local and regional museums, regulation, professionalization.

*Lise Emilie Fosmo Talleraas, fil.dr./ ph.d. museology (Umeå University 2009)

Address :Senior Curator/ research coordinator Vestfoldmuseene IKS Dueveien 18, 3142 Vestskogen, Norway

Email: lise.talleraas@vestfoldmuseene.no (eller etallera@online.no)

From Nordisk Museologi 2011/2, Abstract pp. 162-167


Titel: ISEA 2011. International Symposium on Electronic Art.

Abstract: Rather than being a conference, ISEA 2011 is a festival of digital media, art and culture. The many different formats and activities are stimulating, but it is also sometimes difficult to find an overall perspective from which to describe the whole event. This year ISEA, which is one of the major digital festivals, was held in Istanbul, a city whose diversity was a mirror of the event itself Among the many sessions can be highlighted themes such as “the logarithmic turning point”, which focuses on the influence that digital programming has had on global culture; "media architecture”, understood as interactive façades in urban spaces; ’’the curatorial gesture”, about curating and archiving new media and the issues around the role of New Media Art in art history. More generally, ISEA was permeated by the new media replication and unpredictability of new media, one expression of which was the festival’s "Uncontainable” curatorial theme. As a negotiation of form and content, museums of cultural history in particular have something to learn from art and new media.

Key words: New Media Art, digital media, conference, media culture, curating, urban space.

*Mikkel Thelle, museumsinspektør på Nationalmuseet, København, Danmark

Address: Mikkel Thelle, Islands Brygge 15, 1.tv, 2300 S

Email: mikkel.thelle@natmus.dk

Copyright 2010 Nordisk Museologi