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Title: Museums in transition : past and present interpretations of the concept of design
Author: Bisson, Diane
ISNI:       0000 0004 2729 4424
Awarding Body: Royal College of Art
Current Institution: Royal College of Art
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis examines how some Western museums interpret the concept of design through their recent exhibitions. Five Museums have been selected for the study: the Victoria and Albert Museum (the Twentieth Century Gallery), the Design Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Cooper- Hewitt National Design Museum, and the Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts. The history of their early collecting and exhibiting practices are considered to have shaped their contemporary discursive modes. The permanent and temporary exhibitions selected for analysis illustrate how some museums approach twentieth-century design. They reveal a change in discursive modes occurring in the 1990S. There are two models of interpretation gaining momentum. The first refers to the construction of the concept of design as an extension of the marketplace. This concept was already linked to the development of the South Kensington in the late nineteenth century, and to the MOMA's 'Good Design Program' in the 1950S, when specific economic climates led these Museums to take part in the promotion of design. The concept reappears at the end of the twentieth century as museums lend greater interest to contemporary productions, and particularly to consumer goods. The second current discursive model translates muse- ums' efforts to provide more contextual material surrounding the life of the object. It reflects the integration of recent cultural interpretative paradigms in Museum Studies and of critical reassessment of the role of design in society.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available