Public Lecture Series: How Do Museums Frame Their Image
The role of museums in producing, as opposed to representing, cultural heritage has been increasingly addressed in recent years. Literature on global museum practice particularly focuses on collections, acquisition practice, provenance, iconic museum buildings, exhibitions, and narratives. However, research on how museums have perceived themselves and reflected their role in the production of cultural heritage, both in the past and present, has been limited. By exploring museum displays, photographs, wall paintings, printed informational material, and museum websites, I look at how Berlin’s Pergamon Museum and the Ethnological Museum in the future Humboldt Forum in Berlin’s reconstructed palace frame their image and reflect their own role in producing cultural heritage. To what extent do museum displays and narratives address the museums’ colonial or imperialist past and contested heritage? How do museums frame their role in contributing to academic knowledge and establishing academic disciplines such as Archaeology or Anthropology? How do museums frame their role as public institutions?
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