Personal Albums and Cultural Encounters: The Photo Albums at the Dutch National Maritime Museum

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Increasingly, historical photographs and photo albums are taken seriously as museum objects, and museums are finding new ways of informing their visitors about the photo-historical aspects of their collections. Taking off from recent research on the changing role of photography in museums as well as discussions of representational ethics in relation to anthropological and colonial photography, this article examines the exhibition The Photo Albums at the Dutch National Maritime Museum. Typically, the photo collections of maritime museums include many photographs that represent cultural encounters on foreign coasts, and such photos are also included in The Photo Albums. This article examines the tensions arising between the innovative, aesthetic design that encourages an immersive visitor experience and questions of representational ethics toward photographs of distant Others.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMuseum & Society
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)56-71
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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