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History of Museum and Gallery Education in Europe and America

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  • Languages Of The Wider World Cetl
  • Education


Museum education can be defined as a combination of the function of the museum and nature of education and occurs in the museum which is an institution and venue for learning. This book makes a distinction between the institutions established before and after the seventeenth century, and goes on to define the pre-seventeenth century institutions which were etymologically or functionally related to the museum as ‘pseudo-museums’. Then, the book explores the development of the museum education and related discussions in Europe and America. From the Ancient times to the Renaissance, various kinds of pseudo-museums such as mouseion, temples and churches conducted the educational role of the modern museums. After Renaissance, 'early museums' such as "cabinet of curiosities" appeared. During the seventeenth century, when the Enlightenment prevailed, actual museums started to be established and museum education was initiated. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, education became the key function of the museum due to the emergence of the public museums. However, the educational function of the museum had been reduced from the early twentieth century, and in the mid-twentieth century, museum education was degraded as part of sub-function of the museum. The importance of museum education had re-emerged during the 1960s, and since the 1990s education has recovered its status as a pivotal function of the museum. In the twenty-first century, the field of museum education has been expanding in quantity and quality, and various theories and practices have been developed in order to provide greater number of visitors with broader experience in the museum. In the West, museum education has been expanded and developed, and has remained as a key function of the museum throughout the history despite the difference in content.

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