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Articles on Museums

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Dusty collections, or the foundations of science? David Iliff

Naturalists are becoming an endangered species

The phrase “Natural History” is linked in most people’s minds today with places that use the phrase: the various Natural History Museums, or television programmes narrated so evocatively by renowned naturalist…
Dusty museum collections’ evidence of the past hold clues to the future. Heather Kharouba

A century of museum records reveal species’ changing lives

Natural history museum records are most often associated with preserved specimens, kept with information about the place and time of collection. From these we can generate a record of a species’ geographical…
Can cultural institutions shape how we think about cycling? MollaAliod

Reimagining Australia … by bike

Cultural heritage can play an important role in promoting sustainable land use and creative economies – and all we have to do is get on our bikes. If this sounds peculiar, think of events such as Italy’s…
While they’re very pretty to look at, museum collections are also valuable to science. Curious Expeditions

Right at the museum: collections give clues on climate change

We know museums attract visitors who come to view and wonder at their vast array of displays, but they are also used by expert researchers – locally and abroad – who make use of the ever-growing collections…
Crowds flock to the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, Tasmania, as much for its unique architectural spaces as its exhibitions. Sam Granleese

Inside out: museum architecture rivals exhibitions for pulling power

Only a quarter of a century ago, art museums in Australia were generally thought of as stately enterprises authoritatively disseminating knowledge of high culture to respectful devotees. That was reflected…
Natural history collections hold a wealth of research potential. Stuart Humphreys/Australian Museum

Natural history collections are fine specimens of great value

Natural history collections housed in museums and herbaria are generally not on display to the public – what visitors see represents only a tiny section of the wealth held behind locked doors. What use…
The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is at the heart of Hobart’s cultural transformation. Christopher Neugebauer

David Walsh’s MONA and the cultural regeneration of Hobart

A column of light shines from Hobart’s Queen’s Domain, where Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda’s Spectra reaches up to the looming clouds, visible across the city. The normally empty streets are crowded, the…
An Australian Museum of Women’s History should celebrate women’s contributions to the nation. AAP/Lukas Coch

Welcome to the Museum of Australian Women’s History

Situated in Melbourne’s busy Arts Precinct, by the Yarra and the Botanical Gardens, is Victoria’s newest museum and the first museum in the country dedicated to Australian women’s history. The Museum of…
The Crusader fortress of Krak De Chevalier has been damaged by shelling after rebels used it as a defensive position. AAP image

The perils of history and antiquity in Syria

The looting of the Baghdad Museum in 2003 during the invasion of Iraq is an example the consequences of war on national heritage. Almost a decade on, the civil war in Syria has seen history repeating itself…
Art galleries need to measure visitors’ engagement with modern works, like this one by Tomas Saraceno at the Museum for Contemporary Art in Berlin. EPA/Maurizio Gambarini

A radical rethink: Redesigning art for the contemporary world

There seems little doubt that the rise of widespread international interest and investment in contemporary art and contemporary art museums has stimulated a demand for diverse and compelling programs that…

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