Cultural Representation in Museums: Where Are We Now?
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The purpose of this paper is to explore the selected theories that guide museum professionals in interpreting and displaying everyday cultural objects. The content from several classes taken at the University of Oregon during the 2002-2003 academic year and from current literature on the topic, I have developed a clear idea of what museum professionals are being taught today. It is not surprising that museum professionals find cultural objects interesting. The objects of far away and seemingly mysterious places have intrigued western visitors since the days of early European explorers. Oliver Impey and Arthur MacGregor note, “the opening of the New World and the opening up of contacts with Africa, South-East Asia and the Far East revolutionized the way which people saw the world and their own place in it” (1985, p.2). This awakening gave birth to the very beginnings of museums as we know them. The above passage was taken from Origins of Museums, which argues that the curiosity cabinets of the Renaissance were, in essence, early museums.