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The Anatomy of a Museum: An Insider's Text

ISBN: 978-1-119-23703-7
288 pages
October 2017, Wiley-Blackwell
The Anatomy of a Museum: An Insider


Written by a museum professional and based on a course taught for many years, The Anatomy of a Museum is an engaging and accessible volume that provides a unique insider’s guide to what museums are and how they operate.
  • An insider’s view of the rarefied world of the museum that provides a refreshing and unique account of the reality of the workings of museum life
  • The material has been successfully tested in a course that the author has taught for 14 years
  • Miller has extensive experience at all levels of museum work, from painting walls for exhibitions to museum directorship
  • Clearly and engagingly written, the book covers all the component parts and various disciplines of museum operations, and opinions and perspectives are drawn from a deep knowledge of the field
  • Includes useful pedagogical material, including questions, discussion topics,  and a range of anecdotes
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Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Introduction 1

1 What is a Museum? 5

2 Museum Governance 15

3 Museum Directing 29

4 Curating=Connoisseurship=Collecting 45

5 Managing in Museums 65

6 Audience: A Matter of Definition 109

7 Fundraising 117

8 Collection Management 131

9 Museum Education 139

10 Numbers 145

11 Conservation: The Preservation Imperative 155

12 Exhibitions: Show and Tell 167

13 Maintenance and Security 183

14 Museums and the Media 201

15 Architecture 207

16 Volunteers 221

17 Behavior 227

18 Museum Ethics 241

19 What’s Next for Museums? 255

Appendix I: A Course Final 263

Index 267

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Author Information

STEVEN MILLER is the Executive Director of Boscobel Restoration, Inc., Garrison NY and Adjunct Professor, Seton Hall University MA Program in Museum Professions. He has been in the museum field for over four decades as a curator, director, educator, consultant and writer, and has held leadership positions with six major American history museums. He has written extensively on museum topics.

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