The latest volume (book number 13) in the Heritage Matters series has just been published. ‘Museums in China’ is written by Dr Marzia Varutti, a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Museum Studies, Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages, University of Oslo.
Museums in China have undergone tremendous transformations since they first appeared in the country in the late nineteenth century. Futuristic, state-of-the-art museums have today become symbols of China’s global cultural, economic and technological prominence; over the last two decades the number of Chinese museums has increased at an unprecedented rate, with China set to become the country with the highest number of museums in the world. The reasons why the country has embraced the concept of the museum with such enthusiasm are explored in this engaging monograph.
Based on extensive research in a number of important Chinese museums, the author examines recent changes in their display methods, narratives, actors and architectural styles. She also considers how museums represent Chinese national identity, the country’s long and complex history and its extraordinary cultural diversity.
Through an analysis of the political changes in China that have affected what is selected, displayed and interpreted in museums, and the medium of the museums themselves, this book provides a unique, original and timely exploration of shifts in Chinese society that have had major impacts on the museum and heritage domain.