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Art, museums and touch

Candlin, Fiona (2009) Art, museums and touch. Rethinking Art's Histories. Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press. ISBN 9780719079337.

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Art, museums and touch examines conceptions and uses of touch within arts museums and art history. Candlin deftly weaves archival material and contemporary museology together with government policy and art practice to question the foundations of modern art history, museums as sites of visual learning, and the association of touch with female identity and sexuality. She investigates the rise and fall of connoisseurship, the modernist valorisation of the artist’s hand, touch-based education, the regulation of audiences at participatory art events, and ideas of sensory deprivation. This remarkable study presents a challenging riposte to museology and art history that privileges visual experience. Candlin demonstrates that touch was, and still is, crucially important to museums and art history. At the same time she contests the recent characterisation of touch as an accessible and inclusive way of engaging with museum collections, and argues against prevalent ideas of touch as an unmediated and uncomplicated mode of learning. Taken as a whole Art, Museums and Touch redraws the sensory map of modern public museums and art history. An original and wide-ranging enquiry, Art Museums and Touch is essential reading for scholars and students of museum studies, art history, visual culture, disability, and for anyone interested in the cultural construction of the senses.

Item Type: Book
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Arts > History of Art
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2011 15:25
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2014 11:56

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