A Case Study of Museum Context in American Popular Culture in ...

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  • Title: A Case Study of Museum Context in American Popular Culture in the Late Twentieth Century to the Early Twenty-First Century
  • Author(s): Adam Attwood
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Common Ground Open
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum
  • Keywords: Interdisciplinary Museums, Popular Culture, Curatorial Interpretation, History of Museums, Cultural Economy, Movies, Curatorship, Museology, Edutainment, Public History
  • Volume: 15
  • Issue: 2
  • Date: July 20, 2022
  • ISSN: 1835-2014 (Print)
  • ISSN: 1835-2022 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/1835-2014/CGP/v15i02/79-95
  • Citation: Attwood, Adam. 2022. "A Case Study of Museum Context in American Popular Culture in the Late Twentieth Century to the Early Twenty-First Century." The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum 15 (2): 79-95. doi:10.18848/1835-2014/CGP/v15i02/79-95.
  • Extent: 17 pages

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Abstract

Scholarship on the impact of museums on the public has reiterated the importance of museums as educational institutions. Modern museums are a form of educational entertainment to draw in a wider audience. The paradigm between the private and public sectors and the educational vis-à-vis entertainment goals created a shift in curatorial standards during the last half of the twentieth century. This change accorded the curator a multi-purpose mandate because the museum itself has a multi-purpose mandate that grew to include itself as part of popular culture. After some museums shifted away from a static, monodisciplinary model to a dynamic interdisciplinary model starting in the 1960s, museums became an integral part of American popular culture. This paper explores this process in the product of the interdisciplinary museum as a component of American popular culture to encourage the public to engage more with anthropology and history. This discussion of museums with the research literature in comparison with portrayals of museums in American popular culture emphasizes the case studies of the “Enola Gay” exhibit controversy of the mid-1990s, the “Night at the Museum” movies, the movie “Black Panther,” and examples of a museums in television shows such as “Stargate-SG1.”