Sunday, 15 January 2012
Lecture: Collecting Things, Collecting People
This lecture introduced us to the origins of collecting and displaying objects and the ways in which this is done. The origins of museums is that they are "cabinets of curiosity", the displaying of unknown and interesting things, usually meaning foreign objects that the majority of people would not have come across. Colonialism played a strong part in the origins of museums as when new territories were discovered and more often than not plundered, and these new exotic artefacts would be brought back and displayed. These artefacts could then show the differences between "them" and "us", and how much more "advanced" the west was. Colonialism was not the only reason for this type of collecting; huge scientfic developments in this period led to such collecting too, as new partd of the world were discovered so were all of its inhabitants. One of the most interesting points made in the lecture was that of the politics of display; how artefacts from non-British cultures are displayed in a much different way to British artefacts.