The Return of Curiosity
What Museums are Good For in the 21st Century
Distributed for Reaktion Books
Reflecting on art galleries, science and history institutions, and collections all around the world, Nicholas Thomas argues that, in times marked by incredible insecurity and turbulence, museums help us sustain and enrich society. Moreover, they stimulate us to think in new ways about our world, compelling our curiosity and showing us the importance of understanding one another. Thomas looks at museums not simply as storehouses of old things but as the products of meaningful relationships between curators, the public, history, and culture. These relationships, he shows, don’t always go smoothly, but they do always offer new insights into the many ways we value—and try to preserve—the world we live in.
The result is a refreshing and hopeful look at museums as a cultural force, one that, by gathering together paintings, tropical birds, antiques, or even our own bodies, offers an illuminating reflection of who we are.
The Ascendancy of the Museum
The Museum as Method
The Collection as Creative Technology