Collecting diversity: the changing relationships between museums and culturally diverse communities

Schamberger, Karen 2013, Collecting diversity: the changing relationships between museums and culturally diverse communities, in 2013 : How museums work : people, industry, nation : Proceedings of the Museums Australia 2013 conference, Museums Australia, Canberra, A.C.T., pp. 1-6.

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Title Collecting diversity: the changing relationships between museums and culturally diverse communities
Author(s) Schamberger, Karen
Conference name Museums Australia. Conference (2013 : Canberra, A.C.T.)
Conference location Canberra, A.C.T.
Conference dates 17-20 May. 2013
Title of proceedings 2013 : How museums work : people, industry, nation : Proceedings of the Museums Australia 2013 conference
Editor(s) [Unknown],
Publication date 2013
Conference series Museums Australia Conference
Start page 1
End page 6
Total pages 6
Publisher Museums Australia
Place of publication Canberra, A.C.T.
Keyword(s) museums
cultural diversity
gamelan
Indonesia
object biography
Museum Victoria
Monash University
National Museum of Australia
Melbourne
Cowra
Tanah Merah
Summary  Much of the focus of scholarship around cultural diversity and museums has taken the advent of multiculturalism in 1973 as a starting point. However, public museums also collected and exhibited items relating to culturally diverse communities from the time they were set up from the 1850s onwards, and my research seeks to produce a pre-history of contact between museums, governments and culturally diverse communities and individuals. By using objects and collections life histories from the time they enter the museum for collection and/ or exhibition purposes, I will analyse the way that these relationships have changed over time. One case study is of the gamelan Digul, parts of which are currently on display in the Australian Journeys gallery at the National Museum of Australia. The gamelan Digul first entered the collection of the National Museum of Victoria in 1946 when the museum accepted the donation of these musical instruments from Indonesians who were being deported after World War II. The gamelan remained in this collection until 1976 when it was deacessioned to Monash University who restored and exhibited it in 1999. The National Museum of Australia borrowed some instruments from the gamelan in 2009. Some of the questions I will explore are: What were the motivations behind the former political prisoners/ Indonesian citizens in donating the gamelan Digul to the National Museum of Victoria and why did the museum accept it? Why was the gamelan Digul deaccessioned to Monash University?  How does the display of these instruments at the NMA represent the historical Indonesian communities in Australia which was deported? 
Language eng
Field of Research 210204 Museum Studies
Socio Economic Objective 950399 Heritage not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category E2 Full written paper - non-refereed / Abstract reviewed
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30054847

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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Created: Thu, 08 Aug 2013, 17:18:06 EST by Karen Liza Schamberger

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