Kim Sloan: „Turning the King's Library into the Enlightenment Gallery - thirteen years on“
in Rahmen der Göttinger Summer School „Collecting and the Knowledge of Objects“
5. September 2016 18.15 Uhr
Historische Sternwarte, Universität Göttingen
Dr. Kim Sloan’s (British Museum) lecture will focus on the ‘Enlightenment Gallery: Discovering the World in the 18th Century’ which opened in the old King’s Library in the British Museum in November 2003 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the founding of the museum. It is the only space in the Museum that is not ‘owned’ by one department but instead contains a careful selection of over 4,000 objects mostly from the basement stores of all the departments. It utilises a historic library space dating from the 1820s, the first wing of the present building, to evoke the appearance of the original museum in a permanent display which explores the birth of seven modern disciplines during a time when collections of natural and artificial rarities were being amassed from around Britain and the globe and looked at in new ways in order to understand the world. As the collections were mainly gathered by British individuals from around 1680 to 1820, it provides a uniquely British take on the Enlightenment and through the way the objects are labelled and displayed, it attempts to assist the visitor to view and understand the world through 18th century eyes.
The lecture will review recent attempts to display cabinets of curiosity and Kunstkammern and examiner the difference between these and Enlightenment Gallery’s reflection of encyclopaedic and early connoisseurial, antiquarian, archaeological and ethnographic collecting in the 18th century collecting and museum display. It will also look at some of the decisions taken by the curators in adapting an historic library for the display of objects, methods of interpretation used in the gallery, and, finally, it will attempt a critical assessment of the public reactions to and understanding of the display.
Portal „Wissenschaftliche Sammlungen“Zentrale Kustodie der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Dr. Marie Luisa Allemeyer