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Does the Museum Just Preserve the Museum?

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This conference is the culmination of a series of events during 2015 in which the University of Cambridge Museums have explored the art and science of museum curation. It brings together a wide range of speakers to take a long hard look at what museums do, what they should do, and what they might do. We will explore the ways in which what museums do is enabled and limited by their history and the history of collecting, asking whether and how museums can use their collections to transcend time. We will explore the constraints placed on museums by national history and how they contest natural history. We will think about museums as installations and museums as laboratories. And we will ask how healthy is the pressure to make visitors love their experiences in museums. Have museums failed or succeeded if some people hate them?

This is a conference designed both to celebrate and to question what we do in museums and what museums do to us, and to ask what the future should hold for the museum and what the museum should hold for the future.

This talk is part of the CRASSH series.

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