May 09, 2019
In Research Reports
I am just wrapping up the paper to be presented this weekend at the conference. This is the abstract: Children have been attending museums for more than a hundred years, but their relation to the museum space has grown and changed responding to the cultural, social, and political events of the time. This paper will highlight three major moments in children's museum experience to show the breadth and depth of programming media and space. The first vignette discusses children's museum education at the National Museum of Canada in the 1920s. In these programs, interactive lectures sought to Canadianize young people by teaching them about Canadian landscapes, people and resources through films that brought artifacts and stories to life. The second vignette discusses Danish activist-artist to Palle Nielsen's The Model: A Model for a Qualitative Society (1968) that sought to disrupt museum spaces by introducing exciting, anarchic play structures (and boisterous children) to the space of the museum. The final vignette discusses contemporary story museums across the globe that incorporate children and children's texts in selective ways. Through this historical trajectory we show the changing relationships between children and museums as spaces of resistance and submission.