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A Hobbling Marriage: On the relationship between the collections and the societal mission of the Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeology.
2009 (English)In: Current Swedish Archaeology, ISSN 1102-7355, Vol. 17, 149-162 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the late 19th century, the new Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm was a cutting-edge institution for the presentation of ideas of a universal human development from primitive to modern – ideas that were at the heart of the European colonial project. We argue that the archaeological collections with their unaltered 19th-century structures still represent a narrative that reproduces a colonial understanding of the world, a linear arrangement of essential cultural groups according to a teleological development model. Contrary to this, the contemporary mission of the Museum, inspired by the late 20th-century postcolonial thinking, is directed towards questioning this particular narrative. This problematic relationship is thus present deep within the structure of the Museum of National Antiquities as an institution, and it points to the need for long-term strategic changes to make the collections useful for vital museum activity in accordance with the Museum’s mission.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Svenska Arkeologiska Samfundet , 2009. Vol. 17, 149-162 p.
Keyword [en]
Museum of National Antiquities, collection, narrative, colonial, postcolonial
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-36266OAI: diva2:289119
Available from: 2010-01-22 Created: 2010-01-22 Last updated: 2010-02-03Bibliographically approved

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