Listen to Robert Sullivan
writing only a few months ago.
"Almost all the great natural history museums emerged under the lengthening shadow of the Victorian paradigm of ascending progress.
At the top of that ascending spiral was rational-logical, scientific, technological Western man. With quasi-religious fervour and divine sanctions, natural scientists roamed the world collecting, categorising, and classifying creation and sending it back to .. institutions that groaned under the load of nature's hold.
Largely scholarly and scientific .. these first natural history museums presented a fragmented, "ologized", and exotic natural and cultural world, normally hanging or mounted or stuffed with Darwin's evolutionary theory.... In an increasingly urbanised, pre-television, pre-automobile, pre-jetliner world, natural history museums were the primary places to tangibly contact nature: the exotic, the bizarre, the primitive, the curiosities of the world that lay beyond the city limits."�
, 'Trouble in Paradigms', Museum News
, 41-44 (Jan/Feb 1992)
Robert Sullivan of the Smithsonian Institution has admirably summarised the history for us (6) (see box).
, 'Trouble in Paradigms', Museum News 41-44 (Jan-Feb 1992)
puts it all in perspective.
has mentioned some pointers and those wanting more will certainly find it in the many excellent treatises from the Brundtland Report to the State of the World Reports (31).
(1992), Trouble in Paradigms.
Jan/Feb 1992, 41-44.