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You are here » Artlink » Issues Index » Museums on the Edge

Museums on the Edge

Guest editor Louise Dauth. Aimed to redress the paucity of readily available material on the Australian and New Zealand experience of museums and galleries. Challenges attitudes to heritage, roles of museums, economic rationalism, gender, radical changed, indigenous material and repatriation, multiculturalism and technology. Reviews


Topic list: consumer culture, cultural policy, economy, education, gender, identity, indigenous culture, multiculturalism, patronage, regionalism, traditional culture.

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Articles in Vol 12 no 1, 1992

Museums on the Edge
Editorial by Louise Dauth

Guest editor for Vol 12 No 1 Museums on the Edge. This edition was founded on a perception of a lack of any quantity of readily available material on the Australian and New Zealand experience of museums. — More »

A Continuum of Maori Art
Feature by Mina McKenzie

Whatu Aho Rua - Tandanya Aboriginal Cultural Institute Adelaide Festival. The exhibition Whatu Aho Rua 'weaving with two strands' organised by the Sarjeant Gallery in Wanganui, New Zealand, is a departure form exhibitions usually seen in New Zealand Galleries. — More »

A New Museum for Victoria
Feature by Geoffrey Maslen

In the first project of its kind, private investors will provide half the money needed to build the Museum of Victoria at a new site on the Yarra River. — More »

A Virtue of Necessity: Deaccessioning Without Guilt
Feature by Christopher Saines

De-accessioning is too often characterised as an ill-wind, blowing through the vast and mostly undisturbed reaches of our cultural store-houses capriciously violating the integrity of our collections. — More »

Abel Tasman at Dunedin
Feature by Joanna Mendelssohn

Looks at the exhibition 'Terra Australis Incognita' at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery in New Zealand, to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Abel Tasman's discovery. — More »

Aboriginal People and Museums: Restricting Access to Increase It
Feature by Christopher Anderson

The South Australian Museum has the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of Australian Aboriginal material culture. It also has a vast archive of information about that material and about other aspects of Aboriginal life in the form of photographs, films, audio tapes, diaries and other records. — More »

Background to the Project: Heritage Curricula and Multiculturalism (HC&M)
Feature by Amareswar Galla

Background to the National Agenda for a Multicultural Australia with the final report to be released by the Office of Multicultural Affairs OMA in mid 1992. See also the article by Helen Andreoni in this issue. — More »

Bad Names Improved
Feature by Daniel Thomas

Suggestions for renaming many cultural institutions which are ambiguously named. — More »

Charging to Disaster: The Introduction of Museum Entry Fees
Feature by Patrick Filmer-Sankey

Museums are complex social phenomena and valuable resources. There's an ecological analogy there; if you mess with even apparently trivial elements of a complex system, the results can be unpredictable, powerful and are most often catastrophic. — More »

Conservation: The State of the Art Conservation - Access, Equity and Future Directions
Feature by Ian Cook

Conservation - access, equity and future directions. Everyone is talking about the effects of the economic climate, some people are calling it a recession and others a depression. — More »

Cultural Diversity and the Challenges of Access
Feature by Claudine Brown

Cultural diversity has become a key issue in the 1990s for a number of reasons. In the United States we have recently completed a census. The results of that census indicate a dramatic change in the nation's demographics. — More »

Designing for Interesting People
Feature by Judith Brine

Andrew Andersons is, and has been, engaged to contribute to many of Australia's leading art museums as well as to other public buildings and spaces. His work might be described as adaptive; accommodating to the style and typology of the major buildings on which he has worked as well as responding to the varied views of curators with whom he has co-operated closely when designing galleries. — More »

European Museums Make an Exhibition of Themselves
Feature by Philip Wright

Report on the 3rd International Salon of Museums and Exhibitions (SIME) at the Grand Palais Paris January 1992 — More »

Exhibiting Conflict - Who Dares?
Feature by Viv Szekeres

Museum exhibitions tend not to challenge visitors with critical perspectives, contradictory points of view or subject matter which is controversial. I would like to explore different ways that conflict might be included in exhibitions and used to further our understanding of the past. — More »

Exhibiting the Museum
Feature by Paul Carter

The recession led rash of public conferences on the theme of Australian identity raises questions about the sources of our national self-knowledge. The congregation of bureaucrats, economists, television personalities, writers and artists has a democratic ring to it but it also points to the failure of our cultural institutions - notably our museums, galleries and libraries - to embrace their responsibility to develop a regional self consciousness. — More »

From Curiosities to the Hyper-Real: Notes on Context in Museum Anthropology Exhibitions
Feature by Philip Jones

Daniel Thomas provoked a distinct murmur at the 1990 CAMA Conference when he suggested that art museums have a greater capacity to disturb and move people than other cultural museums. If this is true and I think it is..... — More »

Here We Go Again
Feature by Donald Brook

Life in Cyrus with all its charms and challenges. — More »

Heritage Collections not Museums
Feature by Daniel Thomas

In 1975 the Whitlam Government's Committee of Inquiry on Museums and National Collections (the Piggott Committee, after its chairman P H Piggott) unsuccessfully recommended setting up of a Museum's Commission. — More »

If you Can't Measure It, You Can't Manage It!
Feature by Nelson English

I am particularly troubled about debates such as those illustrated by the publications 'What Price Heritage? - Finance 1989' and 'What value Heritage? DASETT 1990' and Professor Donald Horne's article 'Weekend Australian Jan 4-5 1992' on museums, because there is nearly always truth on all sides. — More »

Implementing Aboriginal and Multicultural Policy in the Museum Sector
Feature by Helen Andreoni

Helen Andreoni writes on matters which are addressed in the report commissioned by the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) by Amareswar Galla (also in this edition of Artlink). — More »

Local Conditions: New Zealand Art
Feature by Robert Leonard

Headlands: Thinking through New Zealand Art. Exhibition for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney from 31st March 1992. Article by the co-curator Robert Leonard. — More »

Museums and Technology: A Recession Boom?
Feature by Charles Pickett

With so many people feeling bruised and battered by the 1980s, it may seem cynical to point out that this unlamented decade also produced some new museums. These two 1980s legacies appear unrelated. On the face of it, museums are a quintessentially boom-time phenomenon, another emblem of 1980s extravagance. — More »

Museums Listings
Feature by Louise Dauth

Selected list of museums and art galleries around Australia. — More »

Repatriation of Papua New Guinea's Cultural Heritage
Feature by Barry Craig

Jim Specht of the Australian Museum Sydney, has written that "public and private collections of archaeological and ethnographic specimens around the world contain tens of millions of specimens yet only a minute fraction of this total is actually held in its countries of origin" ; most of this material he says, was acquired through colonial or military occupation. — More »

Some Thoughts on Museum Futures
Feature by Des Griffin

The quintessential purpose of Museums is to encourage and instil the joy of intellectual and aesthetic discovery. Abstracted partly from a public lecture entitled 'Ideas -Heresies even - for Museum Futures' given in Perth for the Western Australian Government Department of the Arts Task Force on Museums in August 1991. — More »

Sources of Synergy: Museums for Design
Feature by Andrew Montana

The Zandra Rhodes costume in Sydney's Powerhouse Museum holds unique significance within the design collection. — More »

Te Papa Tongarewa: Museum of New Zealand
Feature by Ian Wedde

Looks at recent issues for the National Art Gallery of New Zealand from the boardroom dismissals and judgments as well as the operations. — More »

The Ownership of Cultural Meaning: Local Museums and Access
Feature by Shar Jones

According the the Australia Council figures in 1990 a number of people exceeding the entire population of Australia visited the 187 Australian Museums that employed paid staff in 1989/90 at a cost, for maintence, development and operations in excess of $13.00 per head of population, excluding any charges imposed on entry to museums or exhibitions. And what does $13.00 buy for the Museum going public? — More »

To Have and To Hold: Art Museum Departments
Feature by Alison Carroll

One of the things which continues to fascinate me about museums is how, despite the vast amount of talk about displaying material culture, the often personal, often idiosyncratic, often haphazard decisions about departments are very rarely mentioned. Yet these decisions are central to much of the museum's collection, display, exhibitions and research programme. — More »

Towards the Light: The story of One New Age Gallery's Quest for Purpose and Relevance in a Changing World
Feature by John Neylon

On 23 October 2002, yet another Council of Australian Museums Associations (CAMA) ran down. Conferees were already half deep in thought about melting credit cards and distant work site desks stacked high with urgent files. Well Not exactly CAMA... — More »

Urban Regions and the City Centre: A Changing Cultural Relationship
Feature by Marla Guppy

One of the curious things about very large cities is the gulf that exists between the inner city and the outer suburbs or hinterland. — More »

Victoria Moves Towards Museum Accreditation
Feature by Roger Trudgeon

Accreditation is set to become one of the significant features of the Victorian museum scene in the 1990s. At a time when Victoria might be perceived as out for the count it may seem unlikely to be introducing major developments in the operation of the State's 400 Museums. — More »

Whams and Whimms: An Exercise in Classification and Meaning
Feature by Dale Spender

Interview with Louise Dauth about issues of gender. Dale Spender is a foundation member of the Women Heritage and Museums Group. — More »

A Dialogue with Richard Grayson
Review by Fotis Kapetopoulos

Exhibition review An Interrupted Dialogue. One of the first international experimental art exhibitions to be shown outside Hungary since the end of World War 2. Grayson worked with Suzy Meszoly of the Soros Fine Art Documentation Centre of Budapest in 1988 during the time when changes were sweeping through Central Europe. — More »

Arthouse and Beyond
Review by Gregory Kwok-Keung Leong

Looks at Arthouse in Launceston Tasmania. — More »

CAMA Conference: An Overview
Review by Susan Tonkin

Conference review CAMA Something for Everyone: Access to Museums held at the University of Adelaide October 1991. — More »

Ordinary Otherness
Review by Stephanie Radok

Exhibition review Unfamiliar territory: Second Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art 1992 Art Gallery of South Australia 28 February - 19 April 1992 — More »

Spirit of Enquiry Refreshing
Review by Sean Kelly

Exhibition review Moet and Chandon Touring Exhibition Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery Hobart 12 February - 22 March 1992 and touring — More »

Testing the Meaning of Heritage
Review by Janet Maughan

Exhibition review The Heritage of Namatjira Tandanya National Aboriginal Cultural Institute Adelaide South Australia November - December 1991 Curated by Angela Tidmarsh and JVS Megaw on behalf of the Flinders University of South Australia Catalogue edited by Ruth Megaw. — More »



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