The Anatomy of a MuseumAn Insider's Text
Written by a museum professional and based on a course taught for many years, The Anatomy of a Museum is an engaging and accessible volume that provides a unique insider’s guide to what museums are and how they operate. An insider’s view of the rarefied world of the museum that provides a refreshing and unique account of the reality of the workings of museum life The material has been successfully tested in a course that the author has taught for 14 years Miller has extensive experience at all levels of museum work, from painting walls for exhibitions to museum directorship Clearly and engagingly written, the book covers all the component parts and various disciplines of museum operations, and opinions and perspectives are drawn from a deep knowledge of the field Includes useful pedagogical material, including questions, discussion topics, and a range of anecdotes
Foreword vii Introduction 1 1 What is a Museum? 5 2 Museum Governance 15 3 Museum Directing 29 4 Curating=Connoisseurship=Collecting 45 5 Managing in Museums 65 6 Audience: A Matter of Definition 109 7 Fundraising 117 8 Collection Management 131 9 Museum Education 139 10 Numbers 145 11 Conservation: The Preservation Imperative 155 12 Exhibitions: Show and Tell 167 13 Maintenance and Security 183 14 Museums and the Media 201 15 Architecture 207 16 Volunteers 221 17 Behavior 227 18 Museum Ethics 241 19 What’s Next for Museums? 255 Appendix I: A Course Final 263 Index 267
Steven Miller is the Executive Director of Boscobel Restoration, Inc., Garrison NY and Adjunct Professor, Seton Hall University MA Program in Museum Professions. He has been in the museum field for over four decades as a curator, director, educator, consultant and writer, and has held leadership positions with six major American history museums. He has written extensively on museum topics.
The Anatomy of a Museum provides an insightful and candid look at what museums are and how they operate, from the perspective of a professional who has been a leader in the industry for more than forty years, and who has extensive experience in all the core elements of the field. Written in a style that is engaging, humorous and honest, it is the first single-volume, substantive text to reveal the collective and collaborative inner-workings of museums from a real-world perspective, as well as offering the occasional expose of museum life. The book explains the component parts and disciplines found within these unique institutions. Amongst other topics, this broad ranging text reviews the fundamentals of governance, directing, curating, fundraising, conservation, education, management, maintenance and security. The narrative presents philosophical ideals but the text is reality-based, and all perspectives, annecdotes and opinions are drawn from experience. This is the ideal text for students of Museum Studies, having been based on a course that author has taught for 14 years; however, it is also invaluable for anyone working within the Museum industry, from entry level professionals to museum directors; in addition, it provides an engrossing read to the general reader who wants to discover the insider workings of a museum.