Popular Museums Books

29+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Museums

Discover the list of some best books written on Museums by popular award winning authors. These book on topic Museums highly popular among the readers worldwide.

3.3/5

The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Wallace Johnson , Kirk W. Johnson

A rollicking true-crime adventure and a thought-provoking exploration of the human drive to possess natural beauty for readers of The Stranger in the Woods, The Lost City of Z, and The Orchid Thief. On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London’s Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpos A rollicking true-crime adventure and a thought-provoking exploration of the human drive to possess natural beauty for readers of The Stranger in the Woods, The Lost City of Z, and The Orchid Thief. On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London’s Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. Home to one of the largest ornithological collections in the world, the Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwin’s obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. Once inside the museum, the champion fly-tier grabbed hundreds of bird skins–some collected 150 years earlier by a contemporary of Darwin’s, Alfred Russel Wallace, who’d risked everything to gather them–and escaped into the darkness. Two years later, Kirk Wallace Johnson was waist high in a river in northern New Mexico when his fly-fishing guide told him about the heist. He was soon consumed by the strange case of the feather thief. What would possess a person to steal dead birds? Had Edwin paid the price for his crime? What became of the missing skins? In his search for answers, Johnson was catapulted into a years-long, worldwide investigation. The gripping story of a bizarre and shocking crime, and one man’s relentless pursuit of justice, The Feather Thief is also a fascinating exploration of obsession, and man’s destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature.

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4.5/5

Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson

Please be aware I am writing to you to make sense of myself ... When the curator of a Danish museum responds to a query about ancient exhibits, he doesn’t expect a reply. When Tina Hopgood first wrote it, nor did she … Professor Anders Larsen, an urbane man of facts, has lost his wife, along with his hopes and dreams for the future. He does not know that a query from a Mrs Ti Please be aware I am writing to you to make sense of myself ... When the curator of a Danish museum responds to a query about ancient exhibits, he doesn’t expect a reply. When Tina Hopgood first wrote it, nor did she … Professor Anders Larsen, an urbane man of facts, has lost his wife, along with his hopes and dreams for the future. He does not know that a query from a Mrs Tina Hopgood about a world-famous antiquity in his museum is about to alter the course of his life. Oceans apart, an unexpected correspondence flourishes as they discover shared passions: for history and nature; for useless objects left behind by loved ones; for the ancient and modern world, what is lost in time, what is gained and what has stayed the same. Through intimate stories of joy, anguish, and discovery, each one bares their soul to the other. But when Tina's letters suddenly cease, Anders is thrown into despair. Can this unlikely friendship survive?

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3.1/5

The Metropolitans by Carol Goodman

The day Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, four thirteen-year-olds converge at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where an eccentric curator is seeking four uncommonly brave souls to track down the hidden pages of the Kelmsbury Manuscript, an ancient book of Arthurian legends that lies scattered within the museum's collection, and that holds the key to preventing a second attack on Ame The day Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, four thirteen-year-olds converge at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where an eccentric curator is seeking four uncommonly brave souls to track down the hidden pages of the Kelmsbury Manuscript, an ancient book of Arthurian legends that lies scattered within the museum's collection, and that holds the key to preventing a second attack on American soil. When Madge, Joe, Kiku, and Walt agree to help, they have no idea that the Kelmsbury is already working its magic on them. But they begin to develop extraordinary powers and experience the feelings of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, Morgan le Fay, and Lancelot: courage, friendship, love...and betrayal. Are they playing out a legend that's already been lived, over and over, across the ages? Or can the Metropolitans forge their own story?"

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4.7/5

Imagine! by Raúl Colón

A wordless picture book about a visit to the museum and the power of art and imagination. After passing a city museum many times, a boy finally decides to go in. He passes wall after wall of artwork until he sees a painting that makes him stop and ponder. Before long the painting comes to life and an afternoon of adventure and discovery changes how he sees the world ever af A wordless picture book about a visit to the museum and the power of art and imagination. After passing a city museum many times, a boy finally decides to go in. He passes wall after wall of artwork until he sees a painting that makes him stop and ponder. Before long the painting comes to life and an afternoon of adventure and discovery changes how he sees the world ever after.

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4.3/5

Curators: Behind the Scenes of Natural History Museums by Lance Grande

Over the centuries, natural history museums have evolved from being little more than musty repositories of stuffed animals and pinned bugs, to being crucial generators of new scientific knowledge. They have also become vibrant educational centers, full of engaging exhibits that share those discoveries with students and an enthusiastic general public.   At the heart of it a Over the centuries, natural history museums have evolved from being little more than musty repositories of stuffed animals and pinned bugs, to being crucial generators of new scientific knowledge. They have also become vibrant educational centers, full of engaging exhibits that share those discoveries with students and an enthusiastic general public.   At the heart of it all from the very start have been curators. Yet after three decades as a natural history curator, Lance Grande found that he still had to explain to people what he does. This book is the answer—and, oh, what an answer it is: lively, exciting, up-to-date, it offers a portrait of curators and their research  like none we’ve seen, one that conveys the intellectual excitement and the educational and social value of curation. Grande uses the personal story of his own career—most of it spent at Chicago’s storied Field Museum—to structure his account as he explores the value of research and collections, the importance of public engagement, changing ecological and ethical considerations, and the impact of rapidly improving technology. Throughout, we are guided by Grande’s keen sense of mission, of a job where the why is always as important as the what.   This beautifully written and richly illustrated book is a clear-eyed but loving account of natural history museums, their curators, and their ever-expanding roles in the twenty-first century.  

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4.5/5

A Funny Thing Happened at the Museum... by Davide Cali , Benjamin Chaud

There's more to this museum than meets the eye! This is the wonderfully wacky world of celebrated international author-illustrator team Davide Cali and Benjamin Chaud, the duo behind Junior Library Guild selections I Didn't Do My Homework Because . . . , The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer . . . , and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School . . . . Notoriously (and There's more to this museum than meets the eye! This is the wonderfully wacky world of celebrated international author-illustrator team Davide Cali and Benjamin Chaud, the duo behind Junior Library Guild selections I Didn't Do My Homework Because . . . , The Truth About My Unbelievable Summer . . . , and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School . . . . Notoriously (and delightfully) unreliable narrator Henry is late to a museum where his class is spending the day. But he has a plan: He'll just catch up in one of the exhibits. That's not possible in these halls! With volcanoes erupting, dinosaurs charging, and secret stairwells lurking, reuniting with his classmates becomes a quest of outrageous proportions. Young readers will revel in this entertaining book's over-the-top antics.

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4.6/5

How to Build a Museum: Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture by Tonya Bolden

Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture is truly groundbreaking!  The first national museum whose mission is to illuminate for all people, the rich, diverse, complicated, and important experiences and contributions of African Americans in America is opening. And the history of NMAAHC--the last museum to be built on the National Mall--is the hist Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture is truly groundbreaking!  The first national museum whose mission is to illuminate for all people, the rich, diverse, complicated, and important experiences and contributions of African Americans in America is opening. And the history of NMAAHC--the last museum to be built on the National Mall--is the history of America. The campaign to set up a museum honoring black citizens is nearly 100 years old; building the museum itelf and assembling its incredibly far-reaching collections is a modern story that involves all kinds of people, from educators and activists, to politicians, architects, curators, construction workers, and ordinary Americans who donated cherished belongings to be included in NMAAHC's thematically-organized exhibits.  Award-winning author Tonya Bolden has written a fascinating chronicle of how all of these ideas, ambitions, and actual objects came together in one incredible museum. Includes behind-the-scenes photos of literally "how to build a museum" that holds everything from an entire segregated railroad car to a tiny West African amulet worn to ward off slave traders.

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4.1/5

The Art of Relevance by Nina Simon , Jon Moscone (Preface)

What do the London Science Museum, California Shakespeare Theater, and ShaNaNa have in common? They are all fighting for relevance in an often indifferent world. The Art of Relevance is your guide to mattering more to more people. You'll find inspiring examples, rags-to-relevance case studies, research-based frameworks, and practical advice on how your work can be more vit What do the London Science Museum, California Shakespeare Theater, and ShaNaNa have in common? They are all fighting for relevance in an often indifferent world. The Art of Relevance is your guide to mattering more to more people. You'll find inspiring examples, rags-to-relevance case studies, research-based frameworks, and practical advice on how your work can be more vital to your community. Whether you work in museums or libraries, parks or theaters, churches or afterschool programs, relevance can work for you. Break through shallow connection. Unlock meaning for yourself and others. Find true relevance and shine.

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4.3/5

Ways of Curating by Hans Ulrich Obrist

Hans Ulrich Obrist curated his first exhibit in his kitchen when he was twenty-three years old. Since then he has staged more than 250 shows internationally, many of them among the most influential exhibits of our age. Ways of Curating is a compendium of the insights Obrist has gained from his years of extraordinary work in the art world. It skips between centuries and con Hans Ulrich Obrist curated his first exhibit in his kitchen when he was twenty-three years old. Since then he has staged more than 250 shows internationally, many of them among the most influential exhibits of our age. Ways of Curating is a compendium of the insights Obrist has gained from his years of extraordinary work in the art world. It skips between centuries and continents, flitting from meetings with the artists who have inspired him (including Gerhard Richter, Louise Bourgeois, and Gilbert and George) to biographies of influential figures such as Diaghilev and Walter Hopps. It describes some of the greatest exhibitions in history, as well as some of the greatest exhibitions never realized. It traces the evolution of the collections from Athanasius Kircher's 17th-century Wunderkammer to modern museums, and points the way for projects yet to come. Hans Ulrich Obrist has rescued the word "curate" from wine stores and playlists to remind us of the power inherent in looking at art—and at the world—in a new way.

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3.5/5

Otter in Space by Sam Garton

Fans of picture book characters like Pete the Cat and Clark the Shark will love the curious, charming, and playful Otter, who made her debut in I Am Otter. In her second book, Otter in Space, she and her best friend, Teddy, set off on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure—to the moon! Otter's utterly winning voice and Sam Garton's classic yet fresh artwork combine to create a trul Fans of picture book characters like Pete the Cat and Clark the Shark will love the curious, charming, and playful Otter, who made her debut in I Am Otter. In her second book, Otter in Space, she and her best friend, Teddy, set off on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure—to the moon! Otter's utterly winning voice and Sam Garton's classic yet fresh artwork combine to create a truly hilarious and unforgettable friendship story, with a classroom hook. Otter in Space is all about creativity, problem solving, and the power of imagination.

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4.2/5

Stolen, Smuggled Sold: On the Hunt for Cultural Treasures by Nancy Moses

Stolen, Smuggled Sold: On the Hunt for Cultural Treasures tells the dark and compelling stories of iconic cultural objects that were stolen, smuggled or sold, and eventually returned back to their original owner. There are many books about museum heists, Holocaust artwork, insider theft, trafficking in antiquities, and stolen Native American objects. Now, there’s finally a Stolen, Smuggled Sold: On the Hunt for Cultural Treasures tells the dark and compelling stories of iconic cultural objects that were stolen, smuggled or sold, and eventually returned back to their original owner. There are many books about museum heists, Holocaust artwork, insider theft, trafficking in antiquities, and stolen Native American objects. Now, there’s finally a book for the general public that covers the entire terrain. The book includes full-color photos of the objects. Stolen, Smuggled, Sold features seven vivid and true stories in which the reader joins the author as she uncovers a cultural treasure and follows its often-convoluted trail. Along the way author and reader encounter a cast of fascinating characters from the underbelly of the cultural world: unscrupulous grave robbers, sinister middlemen, ruthless art dealers, venal Nazis, canny lawyers, valiant academics, unstoppable investigative reporters, unwitting curators, and dedicated government officials. Stories include Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer 1, the typset manuscript for Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth, a ceremonial Ghost Dance short from the massacre at Wounded Knee, the theft of 4,800 historical audio discs by a top official at the National Archives, a missing original copy of The Bill of Rights, the mummy of Ramses I, and an ancient treasure from Iraq. While each story is fascinating in and of itself, together they address one of the hottest issues in the museum world: how to deal with the millions of items that have breaks in the chain of ownership, suspicious ownership records, or no provenance at all. The issue of ownership touches on professional practices, international protocols, and national laws. It’s a financial issue since the illicit trade in antiquities and cultural items generates as much as $4 billion to $8 billion a year. Nancy Moses is a consultant for museums, other cultural organizations, and communities. She was executive director of the Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia and served on the executive staff of WQED and the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Philadelphia Studies. She managed a grant program at the National Endowment for the Humanities. She consults to an impressive array of nonprofits of different sizes, structures and missions. Most recently, Nancy spearheaded a new women's social venture fund and helped the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania launch the Wharton Social Impact Corps for its MBA students.

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5/5

Hector the Collector by Emily Beeny , Stephanie Graegin (Illustrator)

“A sweet and child-sensitive addition to any picture-book collection.” —Kirkus Reviews When Hector comes across an acorn, he discovers a love for collecting them in all shapes and sizes. They were all different. They were all the same. They were all beautiful. One day his teacher finds his desk filled with acorns, and his classmates make fun of poor Hector. But they soon learn “A sweet and child-sensitive addition to any picture-book collection.” —Kirkus Reviews When Hector comes across an acorn, he discovers a love for collecting them in all shapes and sizes. They were all different. They were all the same. They were all beautiful. One day his teacher finds his desk filled with acorns, and his classmates make fun of poor Hector. But they soon learn that all collections are special—whether coins, stuffed animals, songs, or seashells—and that some collections are also meant for sharing, like the paintings in an art museum or the books at a public library. Hector the Collector is a charming and evocative story that celebrates the joy of collecting and how collections can grow into the most breathtaking museums in the world.

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4.3/5

Sleepover at the Museum by Karen LeFrak , David Bucs (Illustrations)

Imagine spending your birthday at the museum! Join Mason and his friends on their scavenger hunt through all the exhibits that make any natural history museum so special. The perfect birthday gift for museum lovers and adventure-seekers alike! Mason couldn't wait to celebrate his birthday with a sleepover at the museum of natural history--his favorite place to visit. Armed Imagine spending your birthday at the museum! Join Mason and his friends on their scavenger hunt through all the exhibits that make any natural history museum so special. The perfect birthday gift for museum lovers and adventure-seekers alike! Mason couldn't wait to celebrate his birthday with a sleepover at the museum of natural history--his favorite place to visit. Armed with headlamps for the dark hallways, a map, and a list of clues, Mason and his two best friends take off on a scavenger hunt through each hall of the museum. But they aren't just trying to solve the clues. They're scouting for the best place to spend the night. Sleeping next to a T. rex in the Hall of Dinosaurs felt too scary. And sleeping with the monarch butterflies would probably tickle. This decision isn't as easy as Mason thought it would be.... Wherever they end up, the museum at night is the best place for a birthday adventure!

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4.9/5

Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums by Samuel J. Redman

In 1864 a U.S. army doctor dug up the remains of a Dakota man who had been killed in Minnesota. Carefully recording his observations, he sent the skeleton to a museum in Washington, DC, that was collecting human remains for research. In the "bone rooms" of this museum and others like it, a scientific revolution was unfolding that would change our understanding of the human In 1864 a U.S. army doctor dug up the remains of a Dakota man who had been killed in Minnesota. Carefully recording his observations, he sent the skeleton to a museum in Washington, DC, that was collecting human remains for research. In the "bone rooms" of this museum and others like it, a scientific revolution was unfolding that would change our understanding of the human body, race, and prehistory. In Bone Rooms Samuel Redman unearths the story of how human remains became highly sought-after artifacts for both scientific research and public display. Seeking evidence to support new theories of human evolution and racial classification, collectors embarked on a global competition to recover the best specimens of skeletons, mummies, and fossils. The Smithsonian Institution built the largest collection of human remains in the United States, edging out stiff competition from natural history and medical museums springing up in cities and on university campuses across America. When the San Diego Museum of Man opened in 1915, it mounted the largest exhibition of human skeletons ever presented to the public. The study of human remains yielded discoveries that increasingly discredited racial theory; as a consequence, interest in human origins and evolution--ignited by ideas emerging in the budding field of anthropology--displaced race as the main motive for building bone rooms. Today, debates about the ethics of these collections continue, but the terms of engagement were largely set by the surge of collecting that was already waning by World War II.

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4/5

Mounting Frustration: The Art Museum in the Age of Black Power by Susan E. Cahan

Prior to 1967 fewer than a dozen museum exhibitions had featured the work of African American artists. And by the time the civil rights movement reached the American art museum, it had already crested: the first public demonstrations to integrate museums occurred in late 1968, twenty years after the desegregation of the military and fourteen years after the Brown vs. Board Prior to 1967 fewer than a dozen museum exhibitions had featured the work of African American artists. And by the time the civil rights movement reached the American art museum, it had already crested: the first public demonstrations to integrate museums occurred in late 1968, twenty years after the desegregation of the military and fourteen years after the Brown vs. Board of Education decision. In Mounting Frustration Susan E. Cahan investigates the strategies African American artists and museum professionals employed as they wrangled over access to and the direction of New York City's elite museums. Drawing on numerous interviews with artists and analyses of internal museum documents, Cahan gives a detailed and at times surprising picture of the institutional and social forces that both drove and inhibited racial justice in New York's museums. Cahan focuses on high-profile and wildly contested exhibitions that attempted to integrate African American culture and art into museums, each of which ignited debate, dissension, and protest. The Metropolitan Museum's 1969 exhibition Harlem on My Mind was supposed to represent the neighborhood, but it failed to include the work of the black artists living and working there. While the Whitney's 1971 exhibition Contemporary Black Artists in America featured black artists, it was heavily criticized for being haphazard and not representative. The Whitney show revealed the consequences of museums' failure to hire African American curators, or even white curators who possessed knowledge of black art. Cahan also recounts the long history of the Museum of Modern Art's institutional ambivalence toward contemporary artists of color, which reached its zenith in its 1984 exhibition "Primitivism" in Twentieth Century Art. Representing modern art as a white European and American creation that was influenced by the "primitive" art of people of color, the show only served to further devalue and cordon off African American art. In addressing the racial politics of New York's art world, Cahan shows how aesthetic ideas reflected the underlying structural racism and inequalities that African American artists faced. These inequalities are still felt in America's museums, as many fundamental racial hierarchies remain intact: art by people of color is still often shown in marginal spaces; one-person exhibitions are the preferred method of showing the work of minority artists, as they provide curators a way to avoid engaging with the problems of complicated, interlocking histories; and whiteness is still often viewed as the norm. The ongoing process of integrating museums, Cahan demonstrates, is far broader than overcoming past exclusions.

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4.9/5

Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

Ben and Rose secretly wish for better lives. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing. Set fifty years apa Ben and Rose secretly wish for better lives. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing. Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories - Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures - weave back and worth in symmetry.

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3.7/5

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere — to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing her younger brother Jamie has money and thus can help her with a serious cash-flow problem, she inv When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere — to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing her younger brother Jamie has money and thus can help her with a serious cash-flow problem, she invites him along. Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at auction for a bargain price of $225. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn’t it? Claudia is determined to find out. Her quest leads her to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue, and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.

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4.9/5

Dry Store Room No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum by Richard Fortey

'Dry Store Room No. 1' is an intimate biography of the Natural History Museum, celebrating the eccentric personalities who have peopled it and capturing the wonders of scientific endeavour, academic rigour and imagination.

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4.8/5

The Participatory Museum by Nina Simon

Visitor participation is a hot topic in the contemporary world of museums, art galleries, science centers, libraries and cultural organizations. How can your institution do it and do it well? The Participatory Museum is a practical guide to working with community members and visitors to make cultural institutions more dynamic, relevant, essential places. Museum consultant Visitor participation is a hot topic in the contemporary world of museums, art galleries, science centers, libraries and cultural organizations. How can your institution do it and do it well? The Participatory Museum is a practical guide to working with community members and visitors to make cultural institutions more dynamic, relevant, essential places. Museum consultant and exhibit designer Nina Simon weaves together innovative design techniques and case studies to make a powerful case for participatory practice. "Nina Simon's new book is essential for museum directors interested in experimenting with audience participation on the one hand and cautious about upending the tradition museum model on the other. In concentrating on the practical, this book makes implementation possible in most museums. More importantly, in describing the philosophy and rationale behind participatory activity, it makes clear that action does not always require new technology or machinery. Museums need to change, are changing, and will change further in the future. This book is a helpful and thoughtful road map for speeding such transformation." -Elaine Heumann Gurian, international museum consultant and author of Civilizing the Museum "This book is an extraordinary resource. Nina has assembled the collective wisdom of the field, and has given it her own brilliant spin. She shows us all how to walk the talk. Her book will make you want to go right out and start experimenting with participatory projects." -Kathleen McLean, participatory museum designer and author of Planning for People in Museum Exhibitions "I predict that in the future this book will be a classic work of museology." --Elizabeth Merritt, founding director of the Center for the Future of Museums

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4.4/5

Mr. Wilson's Cabinet Of Wonder: Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, and Other Marvels of Jurassic Technology by Lawrence Weschler

Pronged ants, horned humans, a landscape carved on a fruit pit--some of the displays in David Wilson's Museum of Jurassic Technology are hoaxes. But which ones? As he guides readers through an intellectual hall of mirrors, Lawrence Weschler revisits the 16th-century "wonder cabinets" that were the first museums and compels readers to examine the imaginative origins of both Pronged ants, horned humans, a landscape carved on a fruit pit--some of the displays in David Wilson's Museum of Jurassic Technology are hoaxes. But which ones? As he guides readers through an intellectual hall of mirrors, Lawrence Weschler revisits the 16th-century "wonder cabinets" that were the first museums and compels readers to examine the imaginative origins of both art and science. Illustrations.

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4/5

Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads: The Culture and Evolution of Natural History Museums by Stephen T. Asma

The natural history museum is a place where the line between "high" and "low" culture effectively vanishes--where our awe of nature, our taste for the bizarre, and our thirst for knowledge all blend happily together. But as Stephen Asma shows in Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads, there is more going on in these great institutions than just smart fun. Asma takes us on a wid The natural history museum is a place where the line between "high" and "low" culture effectively vanishes--where our awe of nature, our taste for the bizarre, and our thirst for knowledge all blend happily together. But as Stephen Asma shows in Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads, there is more going on in these great institutions than just smart fun. Asma takes us on a wide-ranging tour of natural history museums in New York and Chicago, London and Paris, interviewing curators, scientists, and exhibit designers, and providing a wealth of fascinating observations. We learn how the first museums were little more than high-toned side shows, with such garish exhibits as the pickled head of Peter the Great's lover. In contrast, today's museums are hot-beds of serious science, funding major research in such fields as anthropology and archaeology. "Rich in detail, lucid explanation, telling anecdotes, and fascinating characters.... Asma has rendered a fascinating and credible account of how natural history museums are conceived and presented. It's the kind of book that will not only engage a wide and diverse readership, but it should, best of all, send them flocking to see how we look at nature and ourselves in those fabulous legacies of the curiosity cabinet."--The Boston Herald.

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4.9/5

The Art of Relevance by Nina Simon , Jon Moscone (Preface)

What do the London Science Museum, California Shakespeare Theater, and ShaNaNa have in common? They are all fighting for relevance in an often indifferent world. The Art of Relevance is your guide to mattering more to more people. You'll find inspiring examples, rags-to-relevance case studies, research-based frameworks, and practical advice on how your work can be more vit What do the London Science Museum, California Shakespeare Theater, and ShaNaNa have in common? They are all fighting for relevance in an often indifferent world. The Art of Relevance is your guide to mattering more to more people. You'll find inspiring examples, rags-to-relevance case studies, research-based frameworks, and practical advice on how your work can be more vital to your community. Whether you work in museums or libraries, parks or theaters, churches or afterschool programs, relevance can work for you. Break through shallow connection. Unlock meaning for yourself and others. Find true relevance and shine.

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3.1/5

Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities at the World's Richest Museum by Jason Felch , Ralph Frammolino

In recent years, several of America’s leading art museums have voluntarily given up their finest pieces of classical art to the governments of Italy and Greece. The monetary value is estimated at over half a billion dollars. Why would they be moved to such unheard-of generosity?  The answer lies at the Getty, one of the world’s richest and most troubled museums, and scandal In recent years, several of America’s leading art museums have voluntarily given up their finest pieces of classical art to the governments of Italy and Greece. The monetary value is estimated at over half a billion dollars. Why would they be moved to such unheard-of generosity?  The answer lies at the Getty, one of the world’s richest and most troubled museums, and scandalous revelations that it had been buying looted antiquities for decades. Drawing on a trove of confidential museum records and frank interviews, Felch and Frammolino give us a fly-on-the-wall account of the inner workings of a world-class museum and tell the story of the Getty’s dealings in the illegal antiquities trade. The outlandish characters and bad behavior could come straight from the pages of a thriller—the wealthy recluse founder, the cagey Italian art investigator, the playboy curator, the narcissist CEO—but their chilling effects on the rest of the art world have been all too real, as the authors show in novelistic detail.  Fast-paced and compelling, Chasing Aphrodite exposes the layer of dirt beneath the polished façade of the museum business.

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4.2/5

Heist Society by Ally Carter

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leav When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre…to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria…to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving “the life” for a normal life proves harder than she’d expected. Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring Kat back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has a good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help. For Kat, there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family's history--and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

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3.7/5

Making the Mummies Dance: Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Thomas Hoving , Eve Metz (Designed by)

No museum in the world is like the Metropolitan Museum of Art - and no man has ever run it, or revolutionized it, quite like Thomas Hoving. In a decade, Hoving changed almost everything people had grown accustomed to from the Met, shaking the institution out of royal repose and transforming it into the most vital cultural presence in the country. Now, the irrepressible for No museum in the world is like the Metropolitan Museum of Art - and no man has ever run it, or revolutionized it, quite like Thomas Hoving. In a decade, Hoving changed almost everything people had grown accustomed to from the Met, shaking the institution out of royal repose and transforming it into the most vital cultural presence in the country. Now, the irrepressible former director delivers a fearless account of his life at the pinnacle of the art world - a modern Vanity Fair, a true story of masterpieces and money, society and scandal, intrigue and international theft. The Met is more than a dazzling art showplace. The museum is a vibrant if quietly influential community, inhabited and run by singular sorts of people: trustees and curators, connoisseurs and conservators. It is steeped in history and tradition and seems to move in a serene and elegant world of impeccable manners and the finest taste. Behind the proper social veneers and pristine marble galleries, Hoving reveals the cutthroat precincts where the real business of the Met is carried out. From seducing important patrons like Robert Lehman, Nelson Rockefeller, Walter Annenberg, and Brooke Astor to spiriting ancient treasures across international borders; from striking secret agreements with the world's most powerful dealers to sidestepping rivals; from securing blockbuster exhibitions, like "Tut" and "The Glory of Russian Costume," to seizing the most phenomenal Velazquez portrait, Hoving shares not only the nimbleness and brashness that made him so effective, but also the zeal and passion that made the Met so exciting. Making the Mummies Dance is told in the head-on, even naughty, way that is trademark Hoving. This is an important, shocking museum story and more - an unforgettable tale of power struggles and one-upmanship, fame, big money, and, of course, great art.

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3.8/5

Identity and the Museum Visitor Experience by John H. Falk

Understanding the visitor experience provides essential insights into how museums can affect people’s lives. Personal drives, group identity, decision-making and meaning-making strategies, memory, and leisure preferences, all enter into the visitor experience, which extends far beyond the walls of the institution both in time and space. Drawing upon a career in studying mu Understanding the visitor experience provides essential insights into how museums can affect people’s lives. Personal drives, group identity, decision-making and meaning-making strategies, memory, and leisure preferences, all enter into the visitor experience, which extends far beyond the walls of the institution both in time and space. Drawing upon a career in studying museum visitors, renowned researcher John Falk attempts to create a predictive model of visitor experience, one that can help museum professionals better meet those visitors’ needs. He identifies five key types of visitors who attend museums and then defines the internal processes that drive them there over and over again. Through an understanding of how museums shape and reflect their personal and group identity, Falk is able to show not only how museums can increase their attendance and revenue, but also their meaningfulness to their constituents.

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3.9/5

The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics by Tony Bennett

In a series of richly detailed case studies from Britian, Australia and North America, Tony Bennett investigates how nineteenth- and twentieth-century museums, fairs and exhibitions have organized their collections, and their visitors. Discussing the historical development of museums alongside that of the fair and the international exhibition, Bennett sheds new light upon t In a series of richly detailed case studies from Britian, Australia and North America, Tony Bennett investigates how nineteenth- and twentieth-century museums, fairs and exhibitions have organized their collections, and their visitors. Discussing the historical development of museums alongside that of the fair and the international exhibition, Bennett sheds new light upon the relationship between modern forms of official and popular culture. Using Foucaltian perspectives The Birth of the Museum explores how the public museum should be understood not just as a place of instruction, but as a reformatory of manners in which a wide range of regulated social routines and performances take place. This invigorating study enriches and challenges the understanding of the museum, and places it at the centre of modern relations between culture and government. For students of museum, cultural and sociology studies, this will be an asset to their reading list.

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3.2/5

Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Display by Ivan Karp (Editor) , Steven D. Lavine (Editor)

Debating the practices of museums, galleries, and festivals, Exhibiting Cultures probes the often politically charged relationships among aesthetics, contexts, and implicit assumptions that govern how art and artifacts are displayed and understood. The contributors—museum directors, curators, and scholars in art history, folklore, history, and anthropology—represent a vari Debating the practices of museums, galleries, and festivals, Exhibiting Cultures probes the often politically charged relationships among aesthetics, contexts, and implicit assumptions that govern how art and artifacts are displayed and understood. The contributors—museum directors, curators, and scholars in art history, folklore, history, and anthropology—represent a variety of stances on the role of museums and their function as intermediaries between the makers of art or artifacts and the eventual viewers.

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3/5

Loot: The Battle over the Stolen Treasures of the Ancient World by Sharon Waxman

A journey across four continents to the heart of the conflict over who should own the great works of ancient art Why are the Elgin Marbles in London and not on the Acropolis? Why do there seem to be as many mummies in France as there are in Egypt? Why are so many Etruscan masterworks in America? For the past two centuries, the West has been plundering the treasures of the a A journey across four continents to the heart of the conflict over who should own the great works of ancient art Why are the Elgin Marbles in London and not on the Acropolis? Why do there seem to be as many mummies in France as there are in Egypt? Why are so many Etruscan masterworks in America? For the past two centuries, the West has been plundering the treasures of the ancient world to fill its great museums, but in recent years, the countries where ancient civilizations originated have begun to push back, taking museums to court, prosecuting curators, and threatening to force the return of these priceless objects. Where do these treasures rightly belong? Sharon Waxman, a former culture reporter for The New York Times and a longtime foreign correspondent, brings us inside this high-stakes conflict, examining the implications for the preservation of the objects themselves and for how we understand our shared cultural heritage. Her journey takes readers from the great cities of Europe and America to Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Italy, as these countries face down the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum, the British Museum, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. She also introduces a cast of determined and implacable characters whose battles may strip these museums of some of their most cherished treasures. For readers who are fascinated by antiquity, who love to frequent museums, and who believe in the value of cultural exchange, Loot opens a new window on an enduring conflict.

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