The Grainger Museum in its museological and historical contexts
AuthorNEMEC, BELINDA JANE
AffiliationArts: The Australian Centre
The Australian Centre
Document TypePhD thesis
CitationsNemec, B. J. (2006). The Grainger Museum in its museological and historical contexts. PhD thesis, The Australian Centre, University of Melbourne.
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2006 Belinda Jane Nemec.
This thesis examines the Grainger Museum at the University of Melbourne in the context of the history of museums, particularly those in Europe, the United States and Australia, during the lifetime of its creator, Percy Aldridge Grainger (1882–1961).Drawing on the collection of the Grainger Museum itself, and on both primary and secondary sources relating to museum development in the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth centuries, the thesis demonstrates that the Grainger Museum reflects many of the concerns of museums of Grainger’s day, especially of the years prior to his relocation to the United States in 1914. Many of those concerns were products of the nationalistic endeavours arising from political upheavals and redefinitions in nineteenth-century Europe, the imperialism which reached its zenith by the First World War, and the racialist beliefs, hierarchies and anxieties accompanying that imperialism. In particular, Grainger’s lifelong concern with racial identity manifested in hierarchical and evolutionary museum interpretations typical of his earlier years. I explore the paradox of Grainger’s admiration for the musical and material culture of the racial ‘other’ and his racially supremacist views, and the way he presented these two apparently conflicting ideologies in his Museum.
KeywordsPercy Aldridge Grainger; Grainger Museum; University of Melbourne; autobiographical museums
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