The Journal Nordic Museology

 

 

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2003/2 Summaries


From Nordisk Museologi 2003/2, SUMMARY pp. 3-26

Marc Maure

A hundred years with Lenin in Siberia

Since 1991, the year that saw the dissolution of the Communist Party and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the museum system in Russia has been deeply marked by an ongoing transformation. In the 1990s the museums became important actors in the process aimed at redefining Russian understanding of the past and rewriting Russian history.
A major feature of the system was the extensive network of institutions and memorials focusing on the life and work of Lenin. Its wide geographical positioning was a core element in the cult af Lenin and served as an important strategy in maintaining his canonization. The hub of this network of museums was at the Lenin museum in Moscow, which was owned and financed by the Central Committee of the Communist Parry.
With the dissolution of the Communist Party in 1991 the network lost both its visitors and irs financial support, in effect its raison d'etre. Many of the museums simply closed and their activities were discontinued, others survived after a thorough reorientation of their work.
Lenin had been banished to the Krasnoyarsk region in Siberia From 1897-1900 and in Soviet times the traces of his stay there became the object of scrupulous preservation ro which the public were offered access. Many of these sites and memorials still exist. The big museums of Sjusjenskoje and Krasnoyarsk are the primary examples. They have succeeded to carry our an impressive programme of renewal. The Krasnoyarsk museum has been particularly successful and has be-uime one of the most interesting museums in the new Russia.


Marc Maure, freelance konsulent innen muscumsutvik-ling, utstillingsprodukfjon og undervisning i museologi. Styremedlem i ICOFOM (ICOM's International Commit lee for Museology).
Nåværende arbeid for samiske museer i Nord Norge, samt prosjekter i Sibir og Ecuador
Adr. Skarvaveien 95, N-1350 Lommedalen, Norge. Tel, +47 67 56 07 47, +47 92 61 57 09
E-mail: museo@online.no


From Nordisk Museologi 2003/2, SUMMARY pp. 27-50

Svante Lindqvist

The Archæology of Symbols  

Symbols are created, manifested and ultimately disappear. This essay discusses how symbols are created, but also how they are rejected, destroyed or just simply fade away. The artefacts we preserve in the belief that they were important symbols in their own time had perhaps already lost their symbolic importance. This interest in symbols is a common theme in a study of the Swedish Nobel Laureate Hannes Alfvén and in scientific research in post-WW2 Sweden on which I have been working for a long time. Some examples of symbols for various beliefs concerning science and technology are given in this essay, and two examples are discussed in more detail. The first is a large ceiling painting in one of the lecture halls of the engineering college in Stockholm, the Royal Institute of Technology. It was executed by Axel Törneman (1880-1925) in 1917. The painting "disappeared" in the late 1950s and was rediscovered in 1993. The second example is a sculpture by Ebba Ahlmark-Hughes, erected in 1990, also at the Royal Institute of Technology. The essay tries to demonstrate how relatively difficult it is for the historian to reconstruct the processes by which symbols are created or destroyed. This is nevertheless important, particularly the latter question.
If we can determine the values a symbol signified when it was created, then its silent disappearence will tell us that these values were no longer shared by its surrounding. To study the disappearence of symbols may thus also be of relevance in recreating the past.


Museichef, professor Svante Lindqvist
Nobelmuseet
Box 2245, 103 16 Stockholm
Fax: +4685348 1820
E-mail: svante.lindqvist@nobel.se


From Nordisk Museologi 2003/2, SUMMARY pp. 51-70

 Merethe Frøyland    (Bibliografi)

Museum pedagogics and the theory of multiple intelligences,

The paper proposes a theoretical framework for how museums might contribute to improving the public understanding of science. The theory suggests that multiple experiences, based on the concept of multiple intelligences in multiple settings (MEMUS), increase the possibility of achieving understanding in a variety of areas. MEMUS includes two perspectives on learning: first that learning is an individual process and second that learning is a process over time. These two perspectives should affect the way museums organise their exhibitions, educational programmes etc, and the topics they choose to present to their visitors. Examples, based on recent international museum studies, are given of how museums can provide their vistitors with multiple experiences.


Rådgiver Merethe Frøyland
doktorgrad i museumsformidling
Adr. ABM-utvikling, postboks 8145 Dep, 0033 Oslo, Norge
Tel. +4723 11 75 00, Faks. +4723 11 7501
E-mail: merethe.froyland@abm-utvikling.no

From Nordisk Museologi 2003/2, SUMMARY pp. 71-88

 Mette Skougaard

Interiors at Frederiksborg 

Frederiksborg, the royal castle in Hillerød, north of Copenhagen, was built at the beginning of the 17th century by King Christian IV as his most resplendent residence. It was used as a royal residence for over 200 years until fire destroyed most of its interior in 1859. During the following decades, the castle was rebuilt and the interiors gradually restored. Finally, on the initiative of the founder of the Carlsberg Breweries, J.C. Jacobsen, the castle was converted into a museum of Danish National History in 1878.
Visitors to the museum today, are perhaps unaware that they are passing through rooms dating from vastly different periods of time. In fact, the interior comprises rooms that are of fundamentally different in that they, range from original interiors that survived the fire of 1859 to those that were restored following the fire, and finally to the museum-interiors created gradually from 1878 onwards. Through an examination of these stages of restoration and development, this article attempts to broaden the conceptual framework for the understanding of museum interiors.
The carefully noted descriptions in the royal inventories together with the few rooms that survived the fire of 1859 make it possible to imagine the true magnificence of the original interiors of the castle. They also provide evidence that the king had a perfect understanding of the symbols of power and authority needed to impress other regents and the nobility.The furniture and other items were made of the most precious materials; walls were covered with tapestries woven with silk, silver and gold, displayed alongside the finest imported paintings. However, we can only imagine and surmise this splendour, as almost all of these treasures were lost in the tragic fire of 1859.
The second type of interiors in the museum are the rooms that were reconstructed to appear as they would have been at the time of Christian IV. The most impressive of the restorations is that of the great Hall, an undertaking of such enormous proportions that it took 28 years to complete the reproduction of tapestries for the walls.
The final part of our journey through the castle's restoration culminates with the interiors which embrace the ideas of the museum founder, J.C. Jacobsen. A review of the museum's founding statutes reveal that there was a process during which significant changes were made. Originally, in April 1878, Jacobsen viewed the museum as a testament to the period from early Christian times to about 1660. Accordingly, the museum interiors were to include furniture, arms, costumes etc. that were representative of the period. But an appendix from October 1878 changes the time span and original scope of the museum. The new vision embraced "more comprehensive presentations of national history from the introduction of Christianity in Denmark to the present day". This fundamental expansion to include modernity can be seen in relation to the planning efforts undertaken at precisely the same time for the great Exhibition of Art and Industry held in Copenhagen in 1879. The close connection with Frederiksborg is no surprise given the fact that the chairman of the exhibition committee was the archaeologist J.J. A Worsaae, who was also the chairman of the governing body of the Frederiksborg Museum. It can be shown that the connection to the Exhibition of Art and Industry in Copenhagen 1879 was not only at the conceptual level, there are also striking thematic similarities in the way the interiors were arranged, including beautifully furnished rooms in which portraits of important people were placed. In many cases the self- same pieces of furniture and utensils were later displayed at Frederiksborg. This is in large part also credited to the generosity of J.C. Jacobsen, who was a frequent visitor to the Art and Industry exhibition, and who made it financially possible to purchase many of the items included in the museum during this period.
In conclusion one can say that the use of interiors for exhibition purposes is a logical choice in light of the aim of the museum: to create an evocative and comprehensive representation of the nation's history from antiquity to modernity. This concept was in itself a testament to modernity, since the creation of thematic interiors was the most modern form of museum exhibition most modern at the time, well-suited to appeal to all kinds of visitors, the learned as well as the layman, thus making it easy for the visitor to engage in and identify with the nation's history.


Museumsinspektør Mette Skougaard
Det Nationalhistoriske Museum på Frederiksborg
Adr. DK-3400 Hillerød
Tel. +45 4826-0439'
Fax. 4824-0966
E-mail: mette.skougaard@frederiksborgmuseet.dk

From Nordisk Museologi 2003/2, SUMMARY pp. 89-96

 Heléne Jonsson

Notes on the use of sound in exhibitions

This text discusses how sound is used in exhibitions, and the problems that arise when it is used. The text includes an examination of four exhibitions analyzing how sound was used. The article presents a model, based on theoretical approaches developed in studies of sound in films, music and soundscapes, which attempts to answer questions about the advantages and disadvantages of the use of sound in exhibitions.


Helene Jonsson studerar på programmet Kiltur, samhälle, mediegestaltning vid Linköpings universitet
E-mail: heljon@webaid.se


From Nordisk Museologi 2003/2, SUMMARY pp. 97-101

Ulla Kallberg

A museum ship as a political argument  In Turku, South-West Finland, the Forum Marinum, a local maritime museum and maritime centre, wished to move a museum ship, the Suomen Joutsen, from a quay where she has been stationary since 1960 to a quay in front of the museum. The museum argued, that the ship would be better preserved in a new place with less air pollution and deeper water, would be easier to take care of and demand lower investment. However, the ship is owned by the municipality and decisions concerning it are made by politicians, who were neither willing to discuss nor make a decision about changing her moring. This behaviour was influenced by the imminent elections. The Suomen Joutsen is of great national interest and is expected to arouse passionate reactions.
The article discusses how a museum piece, a museum ship, can become a political apparatus, a means for achieving personal or political goals. We can analyse the discussion about the ship's moring on the River Aura by asking, who is constructing and defining cultural meanings and for what end. At the same time we can see how the presence of the ship can strengthen local identity, and how cultural values and objects can be used to achieve personal goals and simultaneously question the views of the researchers. But it has to be remembered that the museum is a part of the community and also uses its power.
Finally, the ship celebrated her centenary in the summer of 2002, and the local museum received permission to move her temporarily to the quay in front of the museum to join the other stationary museum ships already there.
The inhabitants reacted. Some people thought that the ship looked nice and it was all right to move her, others claimed that the ship was no longer visible in the city centre where she belonged. They also claimed that she was a part of the urban landscape which her removal had ruined. They used the argument that a line had been drawn between other Finns and the people in the city. Only the people in the city had the right to say anything about the Suomen Joutsen. When it was time to return the ship back to her old moring, the water level was too low. While waiting for it to rise, the politicians decided to leave the ship in front of the museum for another year. Some people were disappointed and called the politicians traitors.


Ulla Kallberg är intendent vid Stiftelsen Forum Marinum
Adress Slottsgatan 72, FIN-20100 Åbo
e-posten: ulla.kallberg@forum-marinum.fi


From Nordisk Museologi 2003/2, SUMMARY pp. 103-108

Ewa Bergdahl

From industrial monument to industrial heritage

 In 1998 the Minister of Culture called on professor Erik Hofrén to propose government measures to further the protection of industrial heritage.
From local initiatives to protect and preserve old industrial sites, notably related to mining and metallurgical installations, a true movement concerned with this history emerged and gained strength in the last decades of the 20th century. Within this movement the concept of industrial archæology has been adopted to include a wider environment than the isolated factory. This development constitutes the background to the government action.
In 1999 Erik Hofrén's proposal was published as a departmental report (SOU 1999:18) with the title Questions to the industrial society. This was an unusual approach to the task, which instead of offering a concrete programme, indicated areas and aspects of concern. A crucial shift in concepts was proposed: 'the heritage of industrial history' should be replaced by the heritage of industrial society'. Thus the wider implications of the introduction of industrial technology and production systems for societal change were stressed.
As a result of the report a committee was set up by the Minister in 1999 to function for three years on behalf of the government with the aim of initiating research, supporting initiatives and stimulating interest and institutional cooperation in the field.
The committee submitted a report on its activities in 2002, The cultural heritage of the industrial society (SOU 2002:67). An attempt is made in this article to review the two reports and evaluate their outcome. It is evident that industrial heritage is a complex and difficult field, full of controversial issues which make cooperation between industrialists, workers' organisations, public institutions and the local citizens complicated. However, it is pointed out, local museums have a key role to play and their significance has not been sufficiently valued by the committee.


Ewa Bergdahl
museum director
Adr. Norrköpings stadsmuseum,Västgötegatan 21, S-602 21 Norrköping
Tel. +4611 152625, Fax. +4611 107601
E-mail: ewa.bergdahl@norrkoping.se

From Nordisk Museologi 2003/2, SUMMARY pp. 109-139

Mattias Bäckström    (bibliografi)

Free space and legal space

This article takes as its point of departure in the distinction made by André Groz between legal space and free space, the former being of a material nature defined by authorities and legal regulations, the latter immaterial, upheld by common practice among citizens representing cultural values in the environment that transcend institutionally applied borders. Historical and aesthetic values are often an important part of the free space, accordingly authorities and agencies defending cultural values related to specific sites - even when they are legally founded - often find themselves in conflict with other agencies in charge of the economic development of the community.
This conflict, which causes dilemmas in political decision making, is demonstrated using two examples, both very important motorway construction projects, one in the southwest of Sweden, the other in the north of the country, both touching on areas with great historical significance.
According to environmental legislation a developer must ask permission to realize his project and must state the consequences of his landuse. When there are conflicting interests in the area the developer is obliged to present an analysis of the consequences and suggest how the damage caused to these conflicting interests may be reduced. This is generally done by presenting alternative sitings for the road. Although in these examples the road projects touched upon areas that are declared World Heritage Sites it is shown that the values asserted by antiquarian authorities are given a very low rating compared to alternatives representing economic gains. The economic gains are measurable and have a limited time horizon but they count for more than cultural values which are immeasurable.


Mattias Bäckström
Antikvarie vid Länsmuseet Västernorrland, Härnösand. Studerar f.n. idéhistoria vid Göteborgs universitet.
E-mail: mattias.backstrom@telia.com


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