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2018/1 Abstracts

From Nordisk Museologi 2018 • 1, pp. 5–26

Mattias Ekman *

Title: The birth of the museum in the Nordic countries
Kunstkammer, museology and museography

Abstract: The article positions early modern collecting in relation to wider cultures
of knowledge production by using perspectives from the history of knowledge,
memory studies, and recent studies of Kunstkammern. Some twenty-five years
after the reawakened interest in early modern collections the author revisits the
question if the museum in the Nordic countries was born in the mid-seventeenth
century and asks if collections became museums and a museum culture was
established with the appearance of, one, museography, theories and methods of
classification and display, two, museology, a science or profession of museum
organisation and management, and, three, designated, purpose-built architecture
and furniture.
The first part brings into play exemplary scholarly and monarchical collectors
that contributed to the development of museography and museology. The second
part addresses seventeenth-century museography by introducing two acts of
knowledge production and retention in the Kunstkammern – asking questions
and selecting and ordering. Finally, the author discusses the findings in relation to
arguments for placing the museum’s birth in the decades around 1800.

Keywords: Ole Worm, Olaus Rudbeck the Elder, Johann Daniel Major, The Gottorf
Kunstkammer, the Copenhagen Kunstkammer, Queen Christina’s Kunstkammer,
classification, method of questioning, commonplacing, topics.

* Mattias Ekman, Ph.D., postdoctoral fellow,
University of Oslo

Adresse: University of Oslo, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental
Languages, Centre for Museum Studies, Postal box 1010 Blindern,
NO-0315 Oslo, Norway

E-mail: mattias.ekman@ikos.uio.no ekman@aaschool.ac.uk

From Nordisk Museologi 2018 • 1, pp. 27–44

Mattias Bäckström *

Title: Intersecting heritage, milieu and environment
The concept of Nordic museology in the early 1990s

Abstract: In this study, I investigate the concept of Nordic museology in the early
1990s. Per-Uno Ågren’s programmatic article about museology and cultural
heritage, published in 1993 in the first ever issue of the journal Nordic Museology,
is the point of departure for my historiographic investigation. Ågren’s article is firstly
contextualized within the international museological discourse of the 1980s and
early 1990s, secondly within a late twentieth-century idea milieu in Umeå where
curators and researchers received, revised, shaped and used a variety of concepts
and practices. The key concepts include traditional museology, new museology,
museum studies and heritology as well as idea milieu and life milieu, total heritage,
environmental heritage, idea heritage, cultural heritage and natural heritage.
What were the specifics of Ågren’s concepts of museology and cultural heritage in
relation to the adjacent concepts in the international museological discourse and
the idea milieu in Umeå? How did Ågren and his colleagues formulate the concept
of Nordic museology?

Key words: Museologies, museum studies and heritology, cultural heritage
and natural heritage, environmental heritage and idea heritage, idea milieu and
life milieu, environmental heritage and environmental history, cultural ecology
and human ecology.

* Mattias Bäckström, PhD in History of Science and Ideas, Postdoctoral Fellow

Address: University of Oslo, IKOS, Centre for Museum Studies, P.O. Box 1010 Blindern, NO-0315 Oslo, Norway

E-mail: mattias.backstrom@ikos.uio.no

From Nordisk Museologi 2018 • 1, pp. 45–61

Lizette Gradén & Tom O’Dell *

Title: Hip heritage and contemporary tastes
Packaging the Nordic in the American cultural market

Abstract: This article focuses on two institutions, the American Swedish Institute
and the Nordic Heritage Museum that have spent the first part of the twenty-first
century thinking and rethinking what the heritage under their auspices can be. In
doing this, the text problematizes the manner in which elements of Nordic history
and identity are being re-thought and re-framed in the cultural and economic
context of the American heritage market. The article asks, how is heritage affected
when it is increasingly framed as a marketable commodity? As part of the analysis
the article discusses the manner in which these museums are intensively and
consciously striving to be cool and chic, but even trend and fashion sensitive as
they position themselves in the growing and competitive market of what we call
hip heritage.

Key words: Heritage making, cultural economy, hip heritage, museums, curatorial
agency, Nordic culture, Nordic-America, Swedish-America.

* Lizette Gradén, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Adresse: Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Lund University,
Box 192, SE-211 00 Lund, Sweden

E-mail: lizette.graden@kultur.lu.se

* Tom O’Dell, Professor of Ethnology

Adresse: Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Lund University,
Box 192, SE-211 00 Lund, Sweden

E-mail: thomas.odell@kultur.lu.se

From Nordisk Museologi 2018 • 1, pp. 62–73

Bjørnar J. Olsen *

Title: Manker’s list
Museum collections in the era of deaccessioning and disposal

Abstract: During the last decades debates and concerns over deaccessioning and
disposal have affected museums worldwide. At the root of the debate lies the ever
more pressing problem with overstocked collection; the consequence of decades and
even centuries of allegedly far too liberal and eclectic collecting and acquisition
practices. This paper presents some alternative views and argues in favor of such
liberal collecting. Taking as its starting point a list of desired museum objects
compiled by Swedish curator Ernst Manker, it emphasizes the immense value and
unruly power of large and heterogeneous museum collections. By constantly being
added to, these assemblages have developed into new and unforeseen becomings
that may radically affect and disrupt existing knowledge. The paper also addresses
museums as caretakers, offering spaces where things, including those once soiled
and broken, can be treated with care and dignity.

Key words: Deaccessioning, museum collections, Ernst Manker, things,
archaeology museums, care.

* Bjørnar J. Olsen, professor

Adresse: Department of Archaeology, History, Religious Studies and Theology,
Faculty of Humanities, Social Science and Education, UiT - The Arctic University of Norway, 9037 Tromsø

E-mail: bjornar.olsen@uit.no

From Nordisk Museologi 2018 • 1, pp. 74–88

Inkeri Hakamies *

Title: The dusty museum

Abstract: Dust is a significant problem for museums – not only from the point
of view of conservation, but also because it has a negative effect on the museum’s
image. In this paper, I analyse the cultural connotations of museum dust: Why is
dust in a museum so appalling, and, consequently, what do people really mean
by the word pair dusty museum? The empirical material of this study consists
of interview and questionnaire material produced as part of a national Finnish
museum history project between 2005 and 2011. In the analysis, museum dust has
been treated as a material element of social practices. Tangible dust is a material
element in many museum practices, but dust can also be a concept used to describe
the wrong kind of museum. Museum dust and dusty museums are both discursive
practices that reflect ideas of what museums should or shouldn’t be.

Keywords: Finland, dust, practices, museum views, marketing.

* Inkeri Hakamies, MA, Doctoral Candidate, University of Helsinki

Adresse: European Ethnology, P.O. Box 59, FI-00014 University of Helsinki,

E-mail: inkeri.hakamies@gmail.com

From Nordisk Museologi 2018 • 1, pp. 89–95

Vinnie Nørskov *

Title: Museums and museology in Denmark in the twenty-first century

Abstract: The article discusses the role of the legal framework in Denmark in
the development of Danish museums and identifies a shift in the administration
through a new museum act implemented in 2002 as a turning point through
the establishment of an agency under the Ministry of Culture. At the same time
museology was strengthened at the universities and since then research, education
and museum practices have been focusing on improving the role of museums for
visitors and for society.

Keywords: museum act, professionalization, museology, Denmark.

* Vinnie Nørskov, Associate professor and museum director

Adresse:Antikmuseet, Aarhus Universitet, Victor Albecks Vej 3, bygning 1414,
DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

E-mail: klavn@cas.au.dk

From Nordisk Museologi 2018 • 1, pp. 96–103

Janne Vilkuna *

Title: The development of Finnish museums over the last forty years

Abstract: The focus of this article is the development of Finnish museums since the
1970s, when the Ministry of Education started to understand the social benefits of
museums as social memory organizations with activities of research and education.
At this point in time the Ministry began actively developing the preconditions for
museum work, the main ”tools” being several political museum committees which
created a museum hierarchy and network, ensured state subsidy through museum
acts, established university studies of museology, and gave support to the Finnish
Museums Association.

Keywords: Museum act, museum hierarchy, museology, Finland, museum

* Janne Vilkuna, Professor of museology

Adresse: University of Jyväskylä, Museology, POBox 35 (G), FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland

E-mail: janne.vilkuna@jyu.fi

From Nordisk Museologi 2018 • 1, pp. 104–110

Guðrún D Whitehead & Sigurjón Baldur Hafsteinsson *

Title: Museology and the Icelandic museum field
Collaborations and development

Abstract: Since the birth of the Icelandic museum in the nineteenth century
they have played a vital role in the local heritage sector. Starting as expressions
of national pride during the independence movement from Denmark, the three
central museums, the National Museum of Iceland, The National Gallery of
Iceland and the Icelandic Museum of Natural History, have played a vital role in
the professional work of museums. They promote collaboration and institutional
development, most recently by enabling the establishment of Museology at the
University of Iceland. Tracing the history of the museum field, this article seeks
to demonstrate the vital role of museums within museology at the University of
Iceland. With continued collaboration, museum professionals and the museum
studies program can promote positive change in the Icelandic heritage sector.

Keywords: museums, museology, Iceland, collaboration, research, heritage

* Gudrun D. Whitehead, PhD., Assistant Professor

Adresse: University of Iceland, Sæmundargata 3, I-101 Reykjavík, Iceland

E-mail: gdw@hi.is

* Sigurjón Baldur Hafsteinsson, PhD., Professor

Adresse: University of Iceland, Sæmundargata 3, I-101 Reykjavík, Iceland

E-mail: sbh@hi.is

From Nordisk Museologi 2018 • 1, pp. 111–118

Brita Brenna *

Title: Museums and museologies in Norway

Abstract: The Norwegian museum landscape has been refurbished during the last
decades. Smaller and topographically scattered units have been merged into large
museum conglomerates, small streams of funding have become regular rivers of
governmental financial support, and the notion of the societal role has become the
landmark for all museums to navigate by. Museological research and education
has grown from being a wild flower to become a modest perennial in the museum
field. This article will from such a modest museological perspective outline some of
the basic features of the changes museums and museology has gone through. The
particular perspective from which the author views the field is the MA-programme
in museology at the University of Oslo.

Keywords: Norwegian museums, museology, heritage studies, Norway, museum

* Brita Brenna, Professor of Museology

Adresse: Centre for Museum Studies, IKOS, University of Oslo, Box 1010 Blindern, N-0315 Oslo, Norway

E-mail: b.s.brenna@ikos.uio.no

From Nordisk Museologi 2018 • 1, pp. 119–129

Eva Silvén *

Title: Museums, museology and cultural heritage studies in Sweden 1993–2017
Some experiences and effects

Abstract: In the last twenty-five years, the Swedish museum landscape has
expanded and contains today several thousand museums, from the single local
history museum to the merged governmental central museum, many of them
organized in different networks. During the same period contemporary collecting,
diversity issues and difficult matters became both attractive and urgent topics
for the public cultural history museums. Also, museology and cultural heritage
studies were established at several universities, with professorships as well as
basic educational programmes. As a consequence, the perception of museology
as research done at museums was replaced by research on museums, often with
a critical view of the history of collections and exhibitions. During the last few
years, however, a polarized media debate reveals that there might still be a gap
between the actual, contemporary museum and the more traditional concept of
the museum in (some) people’s minds.

Keywords: Museums, museology, cultural heritage studies, Sweden, contemporary
collecting, difficult heritage.

* Eva Silvén, Ph.D., Independent Scholar

Adresse: Svampvägen 171, SE-122 63 Enskede, Sweden

E-mail: mail@evasilven.se


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