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African Art ReframedReflections and Dialogues on Museum Culture$
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Bennetta Jules-Rosette and J. R. Osborn

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043277

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043277.001.0001

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Revisiting the Storeroom

Revisiting the Storeroom

Collections and Cultural Surplus

(p.65) Chapter 2 Revisiting the Storeroom
African Art Reframed

Bennetta Jules-Rosette

J.R. Osborn

University of Illinois Press

This chapter opens the storeroom door. If the classification system is considered the brain of the museum, the storeroom is its unconscious mind where secrets of collection, acquisition, classification, object restoration, and display are hidden. Visible storage has been deployed since the 1970s as a planned technique for demonstrating the potential of museums and highlighting the authenticity of their displays. By melding front and back regions, visible storerooms, like others touristic sites and spectacles, lure in clientele. In bringing to light the content of storerooms, both scandalous secrets and pleasant surprises may be revealed. Storerooms are the locus of key objects in repatriation claims, as well as educational resources for museums. Storeroom innovation through recategorizing and restocking objects may become the impetus for museological change.

Keywords:   storerooms, classification system, visible storage, repatriation, educational resources

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