Museums of Influence

Kenneth Hudson, Author Cambridge University Press $49.95 (228p) ISBN 978-0-521-30534-1
The Anacostia Museum, launched in 1967 in a black section of Washington, D.C., featured among its first exhibits a general store, a small zoo and demonstrations of silk-screening. Today it is a ""museum without walls,'' vitally linked to the neighboring community. Anacostia is one of 37 museums identified by Hudson (The Good Museums Guide as being the most influential or pioneering. His guided tour of ``museums of influence'' is eclectic, surprising, sometimes controversial. The British Museum (``a huge department store'') doesn't make the list, but we do find the Roman Palace Museum at Fishbourne, England, built around the excavation of a Roman harbor. Among American museums that Hudson deems up to par, the Museum of Modern Art promoted the idea of museum as community center, while Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry pioneered sponsorship by big corporations. The engaging illustrated text explores the museum's changing role as collector of antiquities, temple of art and cultural forum. (September)
Reviewed on: 08/04/1987
Release date: 08/01/1987
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