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curation, landscape, museums, preservation


Inside, on-site or open-air?


In archaeological museums the disturbance of artefacts divorced from their cultural, as well as natural environment, which shaped and constructed them, is especially visible. The open-air museum offers something different carefully and preserving architectural buildings and fragments set within a landscape type native to them.

However, upon further research we find the concept of the open-air museum was formed from the desire to preserve architectural heritage and aestheticise the past. This aestheticisation of landscape and architectural heritage initially grew out of the ideals of nationalism and romanticism and the power of this open-air type is how memory is constructed through architecture and landscape. However, as shifting notions of culture and identity change, arguably, our understanding of landscape has shifted from the symbolic and scenographic, to the lived and dialogic. As a result, the role of the open-air museum in the future is an uncertain one.


In this context this examines Open-air museums around the globe. It explores how it’s symbolic image has been formed, idealised and commodified, and discusses how it’s aesthetic is preventing any further development on the island and it’s role as a museum. This essay examines existing model used by the museum to represent the past, and reconsiders the role of the curator to explore its place in the future.

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