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In what ways does an understanding of history and changing museological ideas help to explain the foundation and early development the British Museum and The National Gallery - Essay Example

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Development of museums in the United Kingdom has undergone periods of transition over the years both in the manner in which they are organized and their cultural roles. While these changes have been along such lines as political, social and economic, they have enhanced the…
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In what ways does an understanding of history and changing museological ideas help to explain the foundation and early development the British Museum and The National Gallery
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In what ways does an understanding of history and changing museological ideas help to explain the foundation and early development the British Museum and The National Gallery

Download file to see previous pages... hosts princely art collections, the British Museum and the National Gallery offer phenomenal cultural industries that form the pride and identity of the people of the United Kingdom. Given that museums reflect cultural ideologies, these institutions have undergone changes that to some amounts to distortion of what should have been held so dear, and to others, the changes have resulted in better safekeeping avenues for the kind of artifacts that they harbour. In order to have rationally informed understanding of contextual relevance of these two iconic institutions, an in depth analysis of the impacts of history and changing museological ideas have had on them is necessary.
The British Museum owes its inception to the will and determination of Sir Hans Sloane, a physician, naturalist and collector, whose ambition of seeing his collections preserved, according to Edwards (2011), formed the basis for the foundation of the museum. The initial collections of this museum consisted of manuscripts, books and natural specimens. In addition, other relics such as coins, medals, paintings and drawings were also available among the collections. Housed at Montagu House, it became accessible to the public in 1759, majorly drawing attention from curious individuals, and entry was free to all persons. During the period covering the 19th century, the museum received enormous expansion, both in space and in the array of collections, with such artifacts as ethnological and archeological materials from Europe and as far as Syria being incorporated. To this present moment, the museum has continually expanded its antiquities and currently includes artifacts from all round the world, from Chinese ceramics to Egyptian Tomb-Chapel of Nebamun. Currently, the museum is looking forward to building the World Contemporary Exhibition Centre that will offer an additional temporary display space (The British Museum, 2015).
On the other hand, The National Gallery came into existence when the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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