“Recollecting the Nineteenth Century Museum”
Keynote Speaker: Lynne Teather
The nineteenth century was a formative period in the history of the modern museum, not least in new nations keen to establish and build cultural capital. Early museums in Canada were very often attached to institutions with an educational mandate, such as mechanics institutes, religious centres, local societies for the advancement of literature, science and art and universities. But they could also be aligned with a culture of attractions, such as Thomas Barnett’s Niagara Falls Museum, that appealed to the public’s interest in curious and spectacular things. In both cases, transported European models continued to play an important and often formative role.
This symposium brings together literary, cultural, and historical approaches to the nineteenth-century museum.
Topics that the organizers aim to address include:
- Representations of the museum in nineteenth-century art and literature
- Canadian museums of the nineteenth century (with a special focus on Toronto)
- The university and the museum: founding relations, theoretical paradigms
- The ‘teaching’ collection (mechanics’ institutes, religious institutions)
- Movements of objects across cultural lines (for example between European and Indigenous collectors and collections)
Please submit 250-word abstracts by February 28, 2015 to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Inquiries to: Sophie Thomas