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Objects and Others

Essays on Museums and Material Culture

Edited by George W. Stocking, Jr.

Publication Year: 1988

History of Anthropology is a series of annual volumes, inaugurated in 1983, each of which treats an important theme in the history of anthropological inquiry. Objects and Others, the third volume, focuses on a number of questions relating to the history of museums and material culture studies: the interaction of museum arrangement and anthropological theory; the tension between anthropological research and popular education; the contribution of museum ethnography to aesthetic practice; the relationship of humanistic and anthropological culture, and of ethnic artifact and fine art; and, more generally, the representation of culture in material objects. As the first work to cover the development of museum anthropology since the mid-nineteenth century, it will be of great interest and value not only to anthropologist, museologists, and historians of science and the social sciences, but also to those interested in "primitive"  art and its reception in the Western world.

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press


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pp. vii-viii

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Essays on Museums and Material Culture

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pp. 3-14

The two halves of our volume title-"Objects and Others" and "Essays on Museums and Material Culture"-imply overlapping but somewhat different enterprises. The latter suggests, and did in fact elicit, a series of institutionally oriented studies, focusing on what has been called the "Museum Period" in the history of anthropology ...

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Arranging Ethnology: A. H. L. F. Pitt Rivers and the Typological Tradition

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pp. 15-48

In the history of anthropology, the name Pitt Rivers is indissolubly linked to a museum, and to the "evolutionary" principle of its organization-which like the name, was specified in the terms of a bequest.1 Augustus Henry Lane Fox adopted the name Pitt Rivers in 1880 to fulfil the requirements of the will that made him ...

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From Shell-Heaps to Stelae: Early Anthropology at the Peabody Museum

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pp. 49-74

Just after the Civil War, George Peabody, a Salem, Massachusetts, boy who had made a fortune in England in dry goods and the transatlantic trade, made a philanthropic mission to his native land, with the intention of endowing science museums at Harvard and at Yale, and a large fund for education in the conquered Confederacy ...

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Franz Boas and Exhibits: On the Limitations of the Museum Method of Anthropology

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pp. 75-111

Franz Boas is remembered as the founder of professional anthropology in this country, and for more than sixty years, the professional anthropology he did so much to shape has found its primary institutional locus in a particular setting: the university department. ...

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Philanthropoids and Vanishing Cultures: Rockefeller Funding and the End of the Museum Era in Anglo-American Anthropology

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pp. 112-145

Despite its implicit nominal assertion of generalized human relevance, anthropology through most of its history has been primarily a discourse of the culturally or racially despised. The marginality of its human subject matter has not for the most part strengthened anthropology's claim on the limited resources ...

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Art and Artifact at the Trocadero: Ars Americana and the Primitivist Revolution

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pp. 146-166

In 1928 an exhibition of pre-Columbian art was held in the Louvre's Pavillon du Marsan. Including almost a thousand objects, mostly from Central and South America, it was the first such exhibit to accent the aesthetic rather than ethnographic interest of such pieces. ...

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The Ethnic Art Market in the American Southwest, 1880–1980

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pp. 167-191

The rapid rise of ethnic art markets in the twentieth century represents a dynamically interactive form of culture change, wherein native peoples, grasping for cultural legitimacy and survival in the industrialized West, accept the economic option of converting culture into commodity (Beier 1968; Grabum 1976). ...

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On Having a Culture: Nationalism and the Preservation of Quebec’s Patrimoine

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pp. 192-217

Twenty years after his debate with Otis Mason and J. W Powell over the proper arrangement of ethnological objects in museums, Franz Boas returned to the pages of Science to discuss the relative place that popular education and scientific research should occupy in the hierarchy of objectives of a great museum. ...

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Writing the History of Archeology: A Survey of Trends

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pp. 218-235

The earliest historical studies of archeology (Haven 1856; Morlot 1861) date from the mid-nineteenth century, when Joseph Henry, first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, sought with considerable success to purge American archeology of useless speculation and to encourage an interest in factual scientific research ...

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Objects and Selves—An Afterword

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pp. 236-246

James Fenton's poem, "The Pitt-Rivers Museum, Oxford" (1984:81-84),1 from which this stanza is taken, rediscovers a place of fascination in the ethnographic collection. For this visitor, even the museum's coolly descriptive labels seem to increase the wonder ('''...attract small game / on dark nights"') and the fear. ...

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pp. 247-248


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pp. 249-258

E-ISBN-13: 9780299103231
Print-ISBN-13: 9780299103248

Publication Year: 1988