This thesis seeks to examine and compare the museum practices of the Danish national
museum, Nationalmuseet, and the National Museum of Scotland, specifically,
Nationalmuseet’s Danmarks Oldtid (Denmark’s ancient history) exhibit and National Museum
of Scotland’s Early People exhibit. Particular emphasis is put upon the techniques and
principles they put to use in order to display objects from the Viking Age, how they present the
Vikings themselves in relation to said objects, and the reasons behind these choices. Two
related theoretical discourses are used in order to structure our analysis of these exhibits: the
paradigm of New Museology, particularly in terms of aesthetic and contextual approaches to
the art displaying historical objects, and the Scandinavian discourse of historiebrug, the
utilisation of history in general.
During the course of our analysis, we discovered remarkable differences in the approaches of
our chosen case studies. Firstly, the Early People exhibit reflected the museum practices of
New Museology, specifically by using the contextual approach to displaying exhibits, to a
much higher extent than Danmarks Oldtid, which mostly used the aesthetic approach.
Secondly, through textual information, as well as strategic use of art and technology, the Early
People exhibit deliberately help the museum’s visitors in the shaping of their interpretation and
understanding of Vikings. Meanwhile, Danmarks Oldtid is deliberately more neutral and
distanced in its approach, preferring to leave its visitors to their own devices.
We found several reasons behind the exhibits difference. One, the surroundings and
environments of the exhibits are vastly different and built for very different functions. Two,
the design philosophy as well as the scientific foundation of these philosophies differ greatly,
one favouring a distanced academic approach, the other a more including one.
|Uddannelser||Historie, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Kandidat|
|Udgivelsesdato||10 jan. 2018|
|Vejledere||Tilde Strandbygaard Gabriel Jessen|
- National Museum of Scotland