Morgan J (2021) Book review: Exploring Emotion, Care, and Enthusiasm in Unloved Museum Collections, edited by Anna Woodham, Rhianedd Smith and Alison Hess, Leeds, ARC Humanities Press, 2020. Review of: Exploring Emotion, Care, and Enthusiasm in “Unloved” Museum Collections, edited by Anna Woodham, Rhianedd Smith and Alison Hess, Leeds, ARC Humanities Press, 2020. ISBN: 9781641890557. Science Museum Group Journal, 15 (15). https://doi.org/10.15180/211508
First paragraph: The majority of the chapters in this edited book have their origins in the ‘Who Cares? Interventions in “Unloved” Museum Collections’ conference held in 2015 at the Dana Research Centre, Science Museum (London). The conference marked the culmination of a UK Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project of the same name. Like the project and conference, this new book shines a light on ‘unloved’ museum collections. A term, the editors explain, which refers to stored collections, and more broadly objects with limited public appeal and for which ‘significance may be harder to recognize’ (p 1). Yet to speak of ‘unloved’ collections is not to suggest that they are disregarded. On the contrary, this book takes the reader beyond public displays into the hidden space of museum storerooms to look at who cares for such collections, and in doing so reveals a range of individuals, groups and institutions who care intensely. Driven by the applied aim of considering what happens ‘when people who care about stored collections are brought into the research, engagement, and curatorial process’ (p 7), the book addresses a broader challenge for the museum sector: how to find new ways to understand, interpret and use ‘unloved’ collections in ways that will enable the public ‘to value them as much as, if not more than, objects which are “easy to love”’ (p 201).
Collections; care; storage; expertise; emotion
Science Museum Group Journal: Volume 15, Issue 15
|Publication date online||18/05/2021|
|Date accepted by journal||18/05/2021|
|Publisher||The Science Museum|
|Item discussed|| Exploring Emotion, Care, and Enthusiasm in “Unloved” Museum Collections, edited by Anna Woodham, Rhianedd Smith and Alison Hess, Leeds, ARC Humanities Press, 2020. ISBN: 9781641890557|