Museums and American Intellectual Life, 1876-1926
By (author) Steven Conn
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Museums and American Intellectual Life, 1876-1926 by Steven Conn
Book DescriptionDuring the last half of the 19th century, Americans built many of the country's most celebrated museums, such as the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Chicago's Field Museum. This text argues that Americans built these institutions with the confidence that they could collect, organize, and display the sum of the world's knowledge. Examining various kinds of museums, the author discovers how museums gave definition to different bodies of knowledge and how they presented that knowledge - the world in miniature - to the visiting public. The study includes familiar places like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Academy of Natural Sciences, but also draws attention to forgotten ones, like the Philadelphia Commercial Museum, once the repository for objects from many turn-of-the-century world's fairs. What emerges from the analysis is that museums of all kinds shared a belief that knowledge resided in the objects themselves. Using what Steven Conn has termed an "object-based epistemology," museums of the late 19th century were on the cutting edge of American intellectual life. By the first quarter of the 20th century, however, museums had largely been replaced by research-oriented universities as places where new knowledge was produced. According to Conn, not only did this mean a change in the way knowledge was conceived, but also, and perhaps more importantly, who would have access to it.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780226114934
(225mm x 154mm x 18mm)
Imprint: University of Chicago Press
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Publish Date: 13-Dec-2000
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Steven Conn
Americans Against the City, Paperback (December 2016)
It is a paradox of American life that we are a highly urbanized nation filled with people deeply ambivalent about urban life.
To Promote the General Welfare, Hardback (August 2012)
An antidote to Tea Party anger, this book examines ten aspects of American life - from education to communication, from housing to health - and demonstrates, in engaging well-written essays by some of the nation's foremost scholars, that the federal government plays a central role in making our society function, and it always has.
Eakins Masterpiece Restored, Paperback (July 2012)View all books by Steven Conn
Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) is acknowledged as one of the preeminent American painters of the 19th century. As a young artist in 1875 he prepared a monumental painting for the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia of Dr Samuel D Gross of Jefferson Medical College performing a surgery. This title presents his story.
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Author Biography - Steven Conn
Steven Conn teaches History at The Ohio State University.
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