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Art museum interiors 'The Curator's Egg', in white font to centre of cover, by Ridinghouse.

The Curator's Egg

The evolution of the museum concept from the French Revolution to the present day

By (author) Karsten Schubert


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  • This is the 3rd edition (1st 2000, 2nd 2002). This edition features minor corrections and a new epilogue, "Democracy of Spectacle: The Museum Revisited". The Curator’s Egg was first published in English in 2000; a second edition was printed in 2002
  • With the Millennium triggering a host of museum (re)building projects globally, this publication – reflecting on the role of the museum in society – came at a seminal moment for the study of museums. In 2022, with constant museum expansion by now a given, this book is a more valuable guide than ever
  • Museology and the role of culture in society are currently hot topics in academia, and society as a whole
Full Description

From the opening of The Louvre to the launch of Tate Modern and beyond, this accessible and succinct publication traces the development of the museum concept – encompassing curatorial, scholarly, political and cultural spheres – and its evolving role within society.

In the first section, Schubert looks at the complex history of the museum in specific cities at critical moments, for instance New York between 1930 and 1950 as the Metropolitan Museum of Art expanded and the Museum of Modern Art was founded. The second section focuses on the success and unprecedented development of the museum in the 1980s and 1990s in Europe and the United States, highlighting the need for cities and institutions to revise their programmes in response to a surge of interest in the arts.

The final section looks at the museum’s predicament nearly a decade after The Curator’s Egg was originally published in 2000, exploring the museum’s evolution in a post-9/11 environment.

About the Author

Karsten Schubert was a Anglo-German art dealer, collector, writer and co-founder of art imprint Ridinghouse. Through his eponymous gallery, established in London in 1986, he represented artists such as Bridget Riley and Alison Wilding, and was an early champion of YBA artists Michael Landy, Rachel Whiteread, Ian Davenport and Gary Hume. He died in 2019.

Look Inside
14th Apr 2022
Paperback / softback
World excluding USA & Canada
209.55 mm x 152.4 mm
192 Pages
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