Museums, Audiences, and the Public Sphere
This chapter examines strategies of museum outreach and museum education in the public sphere. It contrasts the mythos and chronos of museum narratives through a content, architectural, and design analysis of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Case studies of youth interactions explore the ways that museums extend their educational mission. The control that museums seek to establish within their exhibtionary complexes often moves out of their control when diverse publics are involved, and expanded audiences stake their own claims on the representation of heritage. This process has contrasting political implications for diverse populations. Curatorial narratives, the mythos of museum histories, catalogues, outreach programs, and various technological interventions have been deployed to address the communicative gaps between curators and their audiences.
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