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Exhibitionary Regimes in Transition (completed)

The project aimed at investigating crucial transitions in exhibitionary regimes in museums in modern times (from 1700 to the present). Of specific interest was the interrelation between museum institutions and exhibition practices in other social institutions.

Raccoon holding something and many boxes in the letters.

The shop "Evolution" in New York.

Photo: Brita Brenna

About the project

This was a project within museum history which investigated changing exhibitionary regimes through the modern history of museums (from the 1700s to the present). The project identifid and focus on historical ruptures between exhibitionary regimes, with museum exhibitions as the main field of investigation. With this starting point two questions was central:

  • How exhibition principles in different museum institutions, as natural historical museums, art museums and galleries, and cultural historical museums have influenced each other, and developed exhibition techniques with an against each other.
  • How exhibitionary regimes are shaped and supported in different social settings, and how they interact with each other. Examples could be high society parlors and social spaces, hotel foyers, supermarkets, schoolrooms, galleries etc.


Taking its cue most importantly from Tony Bennett’s concept of the “exhibitionary complex,” this project aimed at providing case-studies which can inform an understanding of several crucial moments of change during the modern period. An important aim was also to contribute to comparative museology which can enable us to develop a better understanding of Norwegian and Scandinavian empirical material as related to other European and non-European realities and thereby also highlight translation processes in material culture.

Published Apr. 13, 2010 2:30 PM - Last modified Apr. 6, 2020 12:39 PM