Sandra in particular left a lasting imprint upon this book. Member: Organization American Historians, Numismatic Bibliomania Society board directors, historian, archivist. Such goals were benign and optimistic, and demanded free access for the public in order to be effective. These institutions represented a beginning, but only a tentative one, for their collections were randomly formed and not accessible to the public. Naval Hydrographic Office: A 19th-Century Rivalry in Science and Politics by Thomas G. The members of the respectability were losing their grip as the deferential mode of society declined, and they tried to use their museums to cling to their position and power.
They make distinctions among people based upon criteria such as wealth, descent, or education, and vary their treatment of others accordingly. Orosz demonstrates that the early museum curators had worked out the basic form of the American museum by 1870 - that is, institutions that simultaneously promote scholarly research and deliver popular education. My parents, Joseph and Caroline Orosz, were a constant source of encouragement. To them, a museum was a cultural center, the purpose of which was the intellectual and moral improvement of the general public. They also believed that the museum, by impressing upon the visitor an appreciation of the order and beneficence of God's creation, became a secular house of worship that promoted reverence and piety. Instead, the proprietors displayed serious motives and egalitarian aspirations. The Age of Professionalism, 1840—1850: The Scientists Lead the Way 6.
Series Title: Responsibility: Joel J. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, since 2001. The author hopes that practicing museum professionals will read it in order to gain an insight as to why the institutions that they serve developed as they did. Given these shortcomings he must always improvise, always adapt the activity to fit the situation. Yet there was a network of museum proprietors who communicated among themselves, who were simultaneously influenced by the same cultural factors, and who were doing the same things at the same time for the same reasons. The historian is obliged to use this technique, however, when it provides the best model for explaining past events.
This volume argues that a small, loosely connected group of men constituted an informal museum movement in America from about 1740 to 1870. Son of Joseph Frank and Caroline Mae Orosz. Many of the early museum proprietors were self-consciously patriotic in the realms of art, science, and history. She also prepared the lion's share of the index. These institutions were chosen carefully on the basis of type, geographical location, and philosophy. Summary This volume argues that a small, loosely connected group of men constituted an informal museum movement in America from about 1740 to 1870. Education Bachelor in American History, Kalamazoo College, 1979.
Founding director The Grantmaking School, since 2004. Many of the pre-1870 museum proprietors came from elite backgrounds, but were zealous in their egalitarian sentiments. These were negative considerations, but there were positive ones to ponder: the American was proud of his relatively clean streets, the absence of paupers, the abundance of resources, and the blessings of freedom and opportunity in this new land. Both criticisms will be considered in detail in the Epilogue, but it is necessary here to summarize them. Eugene Gaddis of the Wadsworth Atheneum was a source of both sound advice and pleasant company. The country's social and political systems were administered on the basis of a deferential-participant model; that is, the lower orders deferred to their social betters, and the respectability were the participants in the power structure. The Cincinnati Historical Society The Connecticut Historical Society Archives of the Gray Herbarium, Harvard University The Historical Society of Pennsylvania The Library Company of Philadelphia Library of Congress The Maryland Historical Society The Metropolitan Museum of Art The New-York Historical Society The New York Public Library, Rare Books and Manuscripts Division, Astor, Lennox and Tilden Foundations Smithsonian Institution Archives Wadsworth Atheneum Prologue: Thesis, Definitions, and Structure The thesis of this book is essentially a refutation of two points of view regarding the pre-1870 history of museums in America, which I shall call the professional criticism and the democratic criticism.
Thus, by 1870, the form of the modern American museum as an institution which simultaneously provides popular education and promotes scholarly research was completely developed. The Graduate Alumni Fund of Case Western Reserve University has been very generous in support of this work. While he recognized the value of European ideas, the American knew that he would have to alter them. Commissioner Michigan Community Service Commission, Lansing, 1991—2000. They were greatly influenced by the optimistic ideas of the British Enlightenment and were especially taken with the idea that museums may be able to suppress vice by means of rational amusement and pleasurable instruction. As they formed their pioneer museums, these men were guided not so much by European examples, but rather by the imperatives of the American democratic culture, including the Enlightenment, the simultaneous decline of the respectability and rise of the middle classes, the Age of Egalitarianism, and the advent of professionalism in the sciences.
Thanks are due as well to Dr. . This synthesis, the American Compromise, has remained the basic model of museums in America down to the present. The pre-1870 museum proprietors, however, understood the term to mean something different. These approaches are utterly contradictory, and just as completely unfounded, but they have until now completely shaped our view of the first century of museum history in America. Those chosen comprised a geographically diverse sample of pre-1870 American museums and covered a range of disciplines, among them art, history and natural science.
These views of the museum as sideshow and the museum as elitist enclave have filtered down to the general public, coloring the popular conception of the pre-1870 museums. My wife, Florence, deserves tremendous credit for her support, both moral and financial, during the past half-decade. It will also show that the community of museum proprietors was so small and the interconnections among them so common, that it is useful to say that there was a loosely knit informal museum movement abroad in the land. A study of a sample of these institutions will show that, while a small proportion of these museums did degenerate into sideshows or elitist enclaves, the great majority had serious and egalitarian aspirations. Steering committee, national advisory council Learning to Give, Muskegon, Michigan, since 1996; Fellow: American Numismatic Society; member: Organization American Historians, Numismatic Bibliomania Society board directors, historian, archivist.
These two contradictory criticisms have exerted a great influence over the small corpus of historiography of American museums, as is discussed in detail in the Epilogue. Instead, the proprietors displayed serious motives and egalitarian aspirations. Instead, the proprietors displayed serious motives and egalitarian aspirations. Distinguished Professor Philanthropic Studies Dorothy A. Hence, it seems sensible to refer to the totality of their actions as a movement, although with the caveat that it was never a movement in a rigid, institutionalized sense. ² The democratic criticism, then, holds that the pre-1870 museums developed from an alien, antiegalitarian background antithetical to the egalitarian culture of America, that is to say, that museums are, and always have been, run by the elite for the elite. He may have been proud of the work he did in museums, but he considered himself a member of another calling, not a curator.
Principal Inside Philanthropy Consulting, Kalamazoo, since 2001. In each of these six periods, then, significant changes in the cultural climate of the United States caused changes in the development of American museums. In addition, the last chapter will briefly examine the effect of the American Compromise on the great metropolitan museums: the Boston Museum of the Fine Arts and New York's two great institutions, the American Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This study focuses on eleven museums, namely the three Peale museums in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and New York; Du Simitière's museum and the Academy of Natural Sciences, both of Philadelphia; the New-York Historical Society, the American Museum, and the Elgin Botanical Garden, all in New York; the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford; the Western Museum of Cincinnati; and the National Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. In point of fact, however, museums proliferated so rapidly after the Revolution that it would be simply impossible to analyze them all within the scope of a single book. Moral improvement was achieved by means of didactic recitals, moral messages inserted into labels, and by the inspiring nature of art and natural history itself.