Journal Article

Success and failure

Peter Rivière

in Journal of the History of Collections

Volume 22, issue 1, pages 141-151
Published in print May 2010 | ISSN: 0954-6650
Published online March 2009 | e-ISSN: 1477-8564 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jhc/fhp007
Success and failure

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Following the Second World War there was an upsurge in interest in what was seen as a fast-disappearing traditional way of life, especially that of the countryside where rapid mechanization was bringing about sweeping changes. Two different organizations simultaneously responded to this in the same way – to found museums in which collections of objects from that disappearing world could be preserved and conserved. The Royal Anthropological Institute proposed setting up a Museum of English Life and Traditions, whereas the University of Reading decided on a Museum of English Rural Life. In this paper the events and personalities involved in these two schemes are described, and how and why the RAI's project failed while Reading's became a success is examined.

Journal Article.  8349 words. 

Subjects: Exhibition Catalogues and Specific Collections ; History of Art ; Social and Cultural History

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