Museum Storage and Meaning : Tales from the Crypt

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Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
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Mirjam Brusius and Kavita Singh
Beyond their often beautiful exhibition halls, many museums contain vast, hidden spaces in which objects may be stored, conserved, or processed. Museums can also include unseen archives, study rooms, and libraries which are inaccessible to the public. This collection of essays focuses on this domain, an area that has hitherto received little attention. Divided into four sections, the book critically examines the physical space of museum storage areas, the fluctuating historical fortunes of exhibits, the growing phenomenon of publicly visible storage, and the politics of objects deemed worthy of collection but unsuitable for display.
Table of contents
List of figures Notes or contributors 1.Introduction MIRJAM BRUSIUS AND K A VITA SINGH PART I Visible and visitable storage 2.Performances of museum storage JAMES DELBOUR GO 3.Visible storage, visible labour? NICKY REEVES 4.Serendipity, transparency, and wonder: the value of visitable storage SARAH BOND 5.Richard Ovenden, Bodley 's Librarian, in conversation with Miriam Brusius INTERVIEW 6.To store is to save: Kenneth C. Murray and the founding of the Nigerian Museum, Lagos AMANDA H. HELL MAN PART II Spaces of storage, beyond display 7.Essential cure for dying museums: Clarence S. Stein and study-storage BELINDA NEMEC 8.'Storage' and 'display': third world perspectives and practices UPINDER SINGH 9.Home from home: memory and history, families and museums CLAIRE WARRIOR 10.Home storage: the treatments of domestic collections of acronautica by the Science Museum and the National Air and Space Museum CAITLIN DOHERTY 11.Preserving preservation: maintaining meaning in museum storage WENDY M.K. SHAW PART III In and out of view: changing fortunes of objects 12.Hidden histories: museum taxidermy rediscovered JOHN M. SANDERS 13.The animals went in two by two: shifts in the classification and display of taxidermy in the seen and unseen spaces of public museums EBONY ANDREWS 14.Museum utopia for the twenty-first century: an 'odd and impractical little dream MICHAEL CONFORTI 15.Upstairs, downstairs: the National Gallerys dual collections SUSANNA AVERY-QUASH AND ALAN CROOKHAM 16.The double life of 'oriental' textiles at the Byzantine & Christian Museum, Athens: interpreting the storage and displayability of Ottoman fabrics in twentieth-century Greece NIKOLAOS VRYZIDIS AND ELENA PAPASTAVROU PART IV Politics of awkwardness, anxiety and taboo 17.Lying in wait: inertia and latency in the collection ALICE STEVENS ON 18.Clothing care and compromise: a case study of the storage of the Hodson Shop Collection, 1983-2015 JENNY GILBERT-EVANS 19.Loose bodies: reserve collections, curatorial reservations, and the ancient Egyptian dead CHRISTINA RIGGS 20.The secret art of the Bambui Royal Treasury, Western Grassfields, Cameroon MATHIAS ALUBAFI FUBAH 21.Remnants of past lives-storing archaeological stuff MORAG M. KERSEL Index