curators behind the scenes of natural history museums

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Curators

Author : Lance Grande
ISBN : 9780226389431
Genre : Science
File Size : 73. 40 MB
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Over the centuries, natural history museums have evolved from being little more than musty repositories of stuffed animals and pinned bugs, to being crucial generators of new scientific knowledge. They have also become vibrant educational centers, full of engaging exhibits that share those discoveries with students and an enthusiastic general public. At the heart of it all from the very start have been curators. Yet after three decades as a natural history curator, Lance Grande found that he still had to explain to people what he does. This book is the answer—and, oh, what an answer it is: lively, exciting, up-to-date, it offers a portrait of curators and their research like none we’ve seen, one that conveys the intellectual excitement and the educational and social value of curation. Grande uses the personal story of his own career—most of it spent at Chicago’s storied Field Museum—to structure his account as he explores the value of research and collections, the importance of public engagement, changing ecological and ethical considerations, and the impact of rapidly improving technology. Throughout, we are guided by Grande’s keen sense of mission, of a job where the why is always as important as the what. This beautifully written and richly illustrated book is a clear-eyed but loving account of natural history museums, their curators, and their ever-expanding roles in the twenty-first century.

Die Kunst Der Benennung

Author : Michael Ohl
ISBN : 9783957571342
Genre : Science
File Size : 73. 8 MB
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1942, mitten im Zweiten Weltkrieg, führt Hitler einen ganz persönlichen Kampf: den Kampf für die Spitzmaus. Biologen, die sich erdreistet hatten, dem irrtümlich als "Maus" bezeichneten Tier einen anderen Namen zu verpassen, drohte er mit einem Arbeitseinsatz an der Ostfront. Um die richtigen Namen für die Natur wird - wenn auch weniger dramatisch - seit jeher gerungen. Entgegen der ausgefeilten Systematik der Tierkategorisierung unterliegt die Namensgebung selbst der Freiheit des Entdeckers und gestaltet sich entsprechend kunstvoll wie kontrovers. Doch wie passt das mit dem Exaktheitsanspruch der Naturwissenschaft zusammen? In einer unterhaltsamen Expedition durch die Geschichte der Naturkunde, durch Museen und Wildnis, eröffnet uns Michael Ohl eine eigentümliche, faszinierende Sprachwelt, die sich von volkstümlichen Bezeichnungen über die Systematisierung bei Linné bis hin zur Genetik stetig weiterentwickelt hat. Er erzählt die Geschichte von waghalsigen Abenteurern und sammelwütigen Sonderlingen und erkärt, warum der Maulwurf sein Maul bei sich behält und das Murmeltier pfeift und nicht murmelt. Mit diesem Verständnis des sinnlichen Wechselspiels von Kultur und Natur können wir begreifen, warum die "Diva unter den Pferdebremsen" mit goldenem Hinterteil den Namen von Beyoncé trägt, und was es mit der merkwürdigen Art "Homo sapiens" auf sich hat.

Behind The Scenes At The Science Museum

Author : Sharon Macdonald
ISBN : 1859735711
Genre : Juvenile Nonfiction
File Size : 69. 39 MB
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What goes on behind closed doors at museums? How are decisions about exhibitions made and who, or what, really makes them? Why are certain objects and styles of display chosen whilst others are rejected, and what factors influence how museum exhibitions are produced and experienced? This book answers these searching questions by giving a privileged look ‘behind the scenes’ at the Science Museum in London. By tracking the history of a particular exhibition, Macdonald takes the reader into the world of the museum curator and shows in vivid detail how exhibitions are created and how public culture is produced. She reveals why exhibitions do not always reflect their makers’ original intentions and why visitors take home particular interpretations. Beyond this ‘local’ context, however, the book also provides broad and far-reaching insights into how national and global political shifts influence the creation of public knowledge through exhibitions.

The Future Of Natural History Museums

Author : Eric Dorfman
ISBN : 9781315531878
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 69. 99 MB
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Natural history museums are changing, both because of their own internal development and in response to changes in context. Historically, the aim of collecting from nature was to develop encyclopedic assemblages to satisfy human curiosity and build a basis for taxonomic information. Today, with global biodiversity in rapid decline, there are new reasons to build and maintain collections, while audiences are more diverse, numerous, and technically savvy. Institutions must learn to embrace new technology while retaining the authenticity of their stories and the value placed on their objects. The Future of Natural History Museums begins to develop a cohesive discourse that balances the disparate issues that our institutions will face over the next decades. It disassembles the topic into various key elements and, through commentary and synthesis, explores a cohesive picture of the trajectory of the natural history museum sector. This book contributes to the study of collections, teaching and learning, ethics, and running non-profit businesses and will be of interest to museum and heritage professionals and academics and senior students in Biological Sciences and Museum Studies.

A Gathering Of Wonders

Author : Joseph Wallace
ISBN : 0312271565
Genre : Travel
File Size : 65. 95 MB
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Since it was founded in 1869, the American Museum of Natural History has stood as one of the world's greatest repositories of scientific information and investigation. This delightful book takes us behind the exhibits and shows us some of the great researchers and fabulous objects from the Museum's past and present, ranging through every department and focusing on fabulous tales and fascinating objects, both small and large, including: * the famous Oviraptor eggs unearthed in the Gobi desert. * the stunning new Hall of Biodiversity, whose trees hold 411,000 model leaves * the 563-carat Star of India sapphire and the 632-carat Patricia emerald * Katharine Burden's hunt for the Komodo dragon : "Women Huntress Revolts Against Playing Safe---Kills Huge 'Malay Dragon' " * the epic saga of the huge blue whale model This book offers a backstage tour through the halls and history of the Museum, venturing into ornithology, invertebrates, zoology, entomology, herpetology, and other disciplines, celebrating the treasures and the scientists responsible for bringing them to the light of day. Museum-goers will find their enjoyment enhanced by the wonderful anecdotes and insights, and armchair travelers will find the back-scenes tour enriching and enlightening.

Unnatural Selection

Author : Katrina van Grouw
ISBN : 9781400889648
Genre : Science
File Size : 21. 97 MB
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A lavishly illustrated look at how evolution plays out in selective breeding Unnatural Selection is a stunningly illustrated book about selective breeding--the ongoing transformation of animals at the hand of man. More important, it's a book about selective breeding on a far, far grander scale—a scale that encompasses all life on Earth. We'd call it evolution. A unique fusion of art, science, and history, this book celebrates the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin's monumental work The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, and is intended as a tribute to what Darwin might have achieved had he possessed that elusive missing piece to the evolutionary puzzle—the knowledge of how individual traits are passed from one generation to the next. With the benefit of a century and a half of hindsight, Katrina van Grouw explains evolution by building on the analogy that Darwin himself used—comparing the selective breeding process with natural selection in the wild, and, like Darwin, featuring a multitude of fascinating examples. This is more than just a book about pets and livestock, however. The revelation of Unnatural Selection is that identical traits can occur in all animals, wild and domesticated, and both are governed by the same evolutionary principles. As van Grouw shows, animals are plastic things, constantly changing. In wild animals the changes are usually too slow to see—species appear to stay the same. When it comes to domesticated animals, however, change happens fast, making them the perfect model of evolution in action. Suitable for the lay reader and student, as well as the more seasoned biologist, and featuring more than four hundred breathtaking illustrations of living animals, skeletons, and historical specimens, Unnatural Selection will be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in natural history and the history of evolutionary thinking.

Eine Geschichte Der Welt In 100 Objekten

Author : Neil MacGregor
ISBN : 9783406621482
Genre : History
File Size : 55. 91 MB
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"In diesem Buch machen wir uns auf zu einer Reise zurück in die Vergangenheit und quer über den Globus, um zu erfahren, wie die Menschen in den letzten zwei Millionen Jahren unsere Welt geprägt haben und ihrerseits von ihr geprägt wurden. Diese Geschichte wird ausschließlich erzählt durch Dinge, die Menschen gemacht haben Objekete, die mit großer Sorgfalt hergestellt und dann entweder bewundert und bewahrt oder benutzt, beschädigt und weggeworfen wurden. Ich habe einfach hundert Objekte von verschiedenen Punkten unserer Reise ausgewählt die Bandbreite reicht vom Kochtopf bis zur goldenen Galeone, vom steinzeitlichen Werkzeug bis zur Kreditkarte." Neil MacGregor "Dieses Buch ist so schön, so klug und so richtungweisend, dass es eigentlich in jede Bibliothek gehört." Tim Sommer, art Das Kunstmagazin "MacGregors Geschichte der Welt in 100 Objekten ist eines der wundervollsten Sachbücher der letzten Jahrzehnte." Alexander Cammann, Literaturen "Diese Geschichten sollten nie aufhören." Elisabeth von Thadden, DIE ZEIT "Macht süchtig." Tilman Spreckelsen, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung

Stuffed Animals And Pickled Heads

Author : Stephen T. Asma
ISBN : 0195347463
Genre : Science
File Size : 79. 72 MB
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The natural history museum is a place where the line between "high" and "low" culture effectively vanishes--where our awe of nature, our taste for the bizarre, and our thirst for knowledge all blend happily together. But as Stephen Asma shows in Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads, there is more going on in these great institutions than just smart fun. Asma takes us on a wide-ranging tour of natural history museums in New York and Chicago, London and Paris, interviewing curators, scientists, and exhibit designers, and providing a wealth of fascinating observations. We learn how the first museums were little more than high-toned side shows, with such garish exhibits as the pickled head of Peter the Great's lover. In contrast, today's museums are hot-beds of serious science, funding major research in such fields as anthropology and archaeology. "Rich in detail, lucid explanation, telling anecdotes, and fascinating characters.... Asma has rendered a fascinating and credible account of how natural history museums are conceived and presented. It's the kind of book that will not only engage a wide and diverse readership, but it should, best of all, send them flocking to see how we look at nature and ourselves in those fabulous legacies of the curiosity cabinet."--The Boston Herald.

Atlas Obscura

Author : Joshua Foer
ISBN : 9783641207113
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 69. 64 MB
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Der außergewöhnlichste Reiseführer der Welt Der Atlas Obscura sieht nur auf den ersten Blick aus wie ein Reiseführer. Es ist vor allem ein Buch zum Lesen und Träumen – eine Wunderkammer voller unerwarteter, bizarrer und mysteriöser Orte, die gleichermaßen Wunderlust und Wanderlust hervorrufen. Jede einzelne Seite dieses außergewöhnlichen Buchs erweitert unseren Horizont und zeigt uns, wie wunderbar und schräg die Welt in Wirklichkeit ist. Fesselnde Texte, hunderte von fantastischen Fotos, überraschende Fakten und Karten für jede Region des Globus machen es nahezu unmöglich, nicht gleich die nächste Seite aufzuschlagen und weiterzuschmökern! Eine erstaunliche Liebeserklärung an die Welt, in der wir leben.

Shivers Down Your Spine

Author : Alison Griffiths
ISBN : 9780231503464
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 38. 74 MB
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From the architectural spectacle of the medieval cathedral and the romantic sublime of the nineteenth-century panorama to the techno-fetishism of today's London Science Museum, humans have gained a deeper understanding of the natural world through highly illusionistic representations that engender new modes of seeing, listening, and thinking. What unites and defines many of these wondrous spaces is an immersive view-an invitation to step inside the virtual world of the image and become a part of its universe, if only for a short time. Since their inception, museums of science and natural history have mixed education and entertainment, often to incredible, eye-opening effect. Immersive spaces of visual display and modes of exhibition send "shivers" down our spines, engaging the distinct cognitive and embodied mapping skills we bring to spectacular architecture and illusionistic media. They also force us to reconsider traditional models of film spectatorship in the context of a mobile and interactive spectator. Through a series of detailed historical case studies, Alison Griffiths masterfully explores the uncanny and unforgettable visceral power of the medieval cathedral, the panorama, the planetarium, the IMAX theater, and the science museum. Examining these structures as exemplary spaces of immersion and interactivity, Griffiths reveals the sometimes surprising antecedents of modern media forms, suggesting the spectator's deep-seated desire to become immersed in a virtual world. Shivers Down Your Spine demonstrates how immersive and interactive museum display techniques such as large video displays, reconstructed environments, and touch-screen computer interactives have redefined the museum space, fueling the opposition between public and private, science and spectacle, civic and corporate interests, voice and text, and life and death. In her remarkable study of sensual spaces, Griffiths explains why, for centuries, we keep coming back for more.

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