PREFACE
Museum Frictions: A Project History
IVAN KARP AND CORINNE A . KRATZ
M
useum Frictions is the product of a se
discussions that began six years ago a
cluded a July 2002 conference at the R
feller Foundation’s conference center i
lagio, Italy. At the same time, it is part of a longer process, building on a p
that began more than a decade earlier with two Rockefeller Found
supported conferences held in 1988 and 1990 at the Smithsonian Insti
in Washington, D.C. Each of those conferences resulted in an edited vo
Exhibiting Cultures: The Poetics and Politics of Museum Displays and Mu
andCommunities:ThePoliticsofPublicCulture,bothpublishedbySmiths
Institution Press. With Museum Frictions, this pair of books becomes a t
of volumes that seek to engage a wide range of scholars and museum p
sionals.Through theirdifferent foci, the books considercore issues in m
and heritage practice byexamining how they playout in different kinds o
seumsandinrelatedinstitutionsthroughacollectionoftheoreticallyinfo
case studies that together present a valuable comparative collection.
A conversation with Lynn Szwaja and Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, officers
Creativity and Culture Program at the Rockefeller Foundation, set the c
project in motion early in summer 2000. We talked about the rich lite
on museums that had burgeoned in the decade since the earlier confer
Work had flourished on the history of museums, on particular types of
ums and related places, on dilemmas and debates related to exhibition
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