Genstande og Historier - glimt fra den danske museologi

Nicole Kudera

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


The text is concerned with the different ways in which objects have been perceived over time in the world of Danish museums – mainly museums working with displays of cultural history. It is not an in-depth survey of a single specific period in time, but a broad analysis of different aspects of the Danish museological practice. This scope is achieved through the documentation of the various ways in which museum objects have been understood, categorized and displayed in exhibitions. The uncovering of these practices is fundamental to unravel the mechanics behind the new Danish exhibition at the National Museum in Copenhagen. ‘Danish Prehistory’ as the exhibition is called in English, is the latest refurbished version of an exhibit that has roots back to the early 19th century. That is one of the reasons why this specific exhibit is of interest in the history of Danish museums. The aim is not to showcase a linear evolutionary description of Danish museological practices, but to give insight to the different facets of the museological practices in Denmark in the time-span in which museums have occurred as a phenomenon in Danish society. This is mainly achieved by analysing specific objects and their change in position and perception at the exhibits and in their catalogue descriptions The problem is formulated thus; “What stories have been told about prehistory by means of objects from the prehistorical collection over time and how has Danish prehistory been exhibited seen from a museological angle?” The text draws on museological theories as well as semiotics to gain an understanding of the various aspects of an exhibit. The historical sources for this text are primarily printed catalogues of museum inventories as well as abstracts from meetings held by the Royal Danish Commission for the preservation of ‘Prehistorical’ Objects. This Commissions work and commitment in registering and collecting objects from ‘elder times’ was the fundament on which the later called ‘National Museum’ was founded, and in which the ‘Danish Prehistory’ exhibit was, and still is a cornerstone. After an analysis of the different categorizations and perceptions of museum objects and their display at museums, I discuss some of the problems and concerns that are predominant in the world of museums at the present. These mainly concern funding and the future role of the museum. The current question is how museums should display the objects in order to attract the attention of the increasingly demanding audience – an audience that is craving entertainment and enlightenment in one easy-to-congest package. The text ends by concluding that the exhibits and the perception of museum objects is a divers and ever changing occurrence, but one that has never been so fiercely discussed among both laymen, politicians and scientist as it is at the present.

UddannelserHistorie, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato19 jan. 2009
VejledereJesper Kragh Vaczy


  • Oldsagskommission
  • genstandsforståelse
  • museer
  • museumsudstilling
  • Danmarks Oldtid
  • Nationalmuseet
  • den ny Danmarks Oldtid
  • museology