Biological Groups, Nature, and Culture in the Museum

in Modern Nature

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780226610894
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226610924 | DOI:
Biological Groups, Nature, and Culture in the Museum

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This chapter concentrates on a particular kind of biological exhibit called the “biological group,” which posed animals together in lifelike positions. It specifically evaluates three new museums of the 1890s and 1900s that made especially bold and successful efforts to draw in the public with innovative biological group exhibits: the Bremen Museum for Natural History, Ethnography, and Commerce (Bremer Museum für Natur-, Völker-, und Handelskunde, opened in 1896), the Altona City Museum (Altonaer Museum, 1901), and the Museum of Ocean Studies in Berlin (Museum für Meereskunde, 1906). The Bremen museum presented nature and culture through the eyes of the global trader. Like Bremen's museum, Altona's was primarily a Kunde museum. Modern German museums simply projected the chief concerns of Germans at the turn of the century, and the representation of nature served as handmaiden to those deeper concerns.

Keywords: biological group; nature; culture; Bremen Museum; Altonaer Museum; Museum of Ocean Studies in Berlin; Kunde museum; German museums

Chapter.  15294 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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