Name of Student
Cultural understandings of knowledge and learning
Museum is associated with the escalation of urban civil cultures in the previous two centuries. Our visit to the Grainger Museum was a great experience and this type of exposure to different mediums of art and culture is a great learning opportunity. Grainger Museum was designed by John Gawler an architect who also taught at the university, with funding from Grainger himself. The museum was built between the period from 1935 till 1939 University of Melbourne provide the land space for this museum, and it officially opened in December 1938. It is among a comparatively small number of autobiographical museums in the world. It was a good opportunity to look closely the collections of the Grainger Museum. Art Works consists of different collections which can be mainly distributed in categories for example Costumes, Ethnographic Collection, Musical Instruments, Decorative Arts & Furniture and Photographs. Everything in the museum is a work of art may it be an old chair, a desk, painting, letters, or photographs. All of these are like an cultural representation of that time, this collection is not only a way of understanding Grainger’s music, his life and his diverse and often amazingly unreasonable obsessions, but it also portrays the musical life of Melbourne in Grainger’s life time.
Learning ensues when individuals expand their minds to relate with their experiences, information and knowledge with what they see in a museum. In museums, visitors learn dynamically when they interact with the environment to articulate questions about the art work, make their own perceptive, reflect on their own impressions and ideas, make their own judgments, come up with their own interpretations, and try to find their own personal and individual connections. All these sorts of behaviors are called active learning. At Grainger Museum all the collections are a reflection of Grainger’s life and personality and also the reflection of the culture of that time. In prolonged learning experiences, a study says that active learning is imperative: individuals learn more profoundly and preserve knowledge for a long time when they are exposed to occasions to involve keenly with the experiences and information at hand. People do not learn effectively when they sit passively while an instructor attempts to fill their heads with information. Our brains are not biological computers, taking in data and storing these data for later use, subject to external retrieval commands. We are, instead, much more complicated than that: We take in information through the senses and our brains decide what to do with it in which cognitive category, that information belongs. It is at this point that we use our preexisting knowledge and associate the new information with it to form our own perceptions, assumptions and theories (White, 2004).
Percy Grainger’s Towel Costume
The most appealing collection for me was the Towel outfit worn by Percy Grainger, it attracted me in a very unusual way thou I have seen many costumes similar to Percy Grainger’s outfit but, this one seem pretty different. Thus for different individuals exposure to a same piece of art can have a different effect. I like the costume (Percy Grainger toweling costume) whiles someone else would have seen nothing significant in that costume to like it. Unless we do something with incoming information, one of two things will happen: Either the brain will attach that information to a memory that already exists, or it will discard it as irrelevant. Thus, humans don’t just take in knowledge, they construct it. They learn by doing by acting.
There are many museums in Australia, such as, the National Museum, the Australian Museum and the most popular and rich of all Grainger Museum. In order to expand our knowledge and to prepare us for the visit to the museum, the program included a number of activities in pre and post visit lessons, such as, remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating. We worked in groups for developing ideas for a section of the exhibition in order to understand and learn in a more interactive way. I spent fascinating time and learned a lot regarding the many facets of this polygonal place. The great experience whilst studying the exhibits with keen interest was memorable event of our life. The welcoming receptionist was a delight to the trip experience, in addition, nearby, there are many good cafes, and it was a very informal and informative trip.
When looking at the costume recalls some other images of costumes that I had seen in the past and learned that what type of costumes were worn in different eras of human history. Material that has no emotional resonance for us is a signal that at an intuitive level we don’t have a strong need to know. Unless something tempers our curiosity, or knocks us off balance and creates disorientation, we’re not likely to pay much attention to it. Museums are technologies to produce social, governmental tools as many researchers claim to operate on records as civic and epistemological. That is museums organize objects to be viewed and organized while viewers. Where before the intended viewer saw through the eyes of the monarch and the museum thus encoded real power, civic agreements created the viewer as urban public. Museums helped create a shared sense of the world and knowledge of the world views. They worked to categorize and order the world, and object positioning in the changing world of the modern city. Museum displays deployed categorizations and classifications of objects in ways that seemed to convey universal truths secular. Typologies and classifications made legible cultures and stories to the public (Orlikowski, 2006).
Grainger Museum, the cataloging of ethnological artifacts served to help support the idea of race, people and their movements and relationships. Epistemology of the disembodied gaze, depersonalized visual knowledge is transformed into physical form, where rooms and buildings specialized categories listed materials and objects as visual proof of the logic behind the museum. The extensive collection contains over 50,000 objects of communication with people like, Frederick Delius, Edvard Grieg, Richard Wagner Cyril Scott, and Pyotr Tchaikovsky. In total the Grainger museum’s collection largely encompasses about 100,000 objects, only a small section of which are on display. The rest of the collection is available for research and exploration by aforementioned arrangement. Large space is dedicated in the newfangled Museum to Grainger as gleaner and collector mostly of British folksong. A remarkable presentation is made of an Edison Standard Phonograph, sitting directly above almost fifty cylinder-shaped cases which encompass a collection of Grainger’s unique wax recording cylinders. Grainger incorporated this technique of gathering as it allowed him the indulgence of repetitive hearings, vital to netting the tones of his subject’s performances and rhythmic deviations. One more cupboard dedicated to folksong collecting has a photograph of Joseph Taylor. (Kleiner, 2009).
This became a form of cultural governance through the registration of the identities of positions like watching a public- and also a national technology for mass education in the democratic use of the intended objects to instill civic virtue through civic rituals. Therefore, the visitors’ galleries and museums became both an expression of civic belonging and a means to instill it. In addition to its internal organization, you can trace the ornamental outside of museums as temples to secular learning and the celebration of national virtues. During the nineteenth century, the hegemony of neoclassical portico and form established the museum as a sacred place, but to the secular values of the state and the nation (Kiefer, 2005). Their claims of universal knowledge are symbolized by the debate between the classical universal forms, which exemplifies the values of order through the symmetry and geometry, and competing national forms constructed, such as Gothic drills in Britain, considered as holding the particular history of the nation. The intertwining of universal and national values can be seen, for example, at the main entrance to the south of the British Museum, which is a neoclassical facade pediment which Sir Richard Westcott interprets the progress of civilization; inside the entrance are monuments to personnel who gave their lives in two world wars (Kleiner, 2009).
If museums individually use their internal spaces to discipline the objects and make them useful for social narratives, then cumulatively formed part of what Bennett calls the popup exhibition complex in the modern city. So, along with zoos, world fairs, malls and department stores, museums are a place for the public display of objects. Thus, they become a means to appeal to urban management and care from eyeglasses to modernity. Also frame the world as something to be seen and, more fundamentally, as something that could be seen for treatment, in the words of Mitchell, the world as exhibition (Haney, 1995).
The connection can be exemplified in the construction of Albert polis as a museum complex, knowledge centers and exhibition spaces in South Kensington in London. It is named after its inspiration, Prince Albert, who was the patron of the first Universal Exhibition of 1851 (Haney, 1995).
Driver and Gilbert suggest this forms a point of what became an imperial triangle screen anchored in Kensington, Whitehall and Trafalgar Square creating a symbolic load zone in the city. They were part of a consciously imperial subway poles. Museums and collections create a sense of metropolitan centrality (Carroll, 2007). They became global knowledge technologies and power centers and representation and calculation for the world. The artifacts and specimens were taken from peripheral and exotic places around the world and placed together in these metropolitan centers, through networking and exchange between artifacts collection and knowledge (Bulmer, 1997).
Recently, there has been a move away from the ideals of civic museum with its implicit educational goals and national or imperial subjects. Instead, museums have become connected with the public, providing emotional encounters with reconstructions and models and a profusion of new forms designed to meet the varied demands of a public entertainment. The public is no longer directed to a singular mass audience but splintered by age, taste, cultural identity, and so on, with more museums specialists catering to different fractions. There have been no significant new investment and training of museums. Major initiatives and often do not speak with a national mission, but an art and global culture celebrity. Brands of museums like the Grainger have emerged, which can be coupled with dramatic architectural forms to offer flagship developments in urban regeneration (Bjelajac, 2001). The most appropriate example is the Grainger Museum which shows the different moods and shades of Percy’s life and also about the culture of that time, which is very fascinating. Moreover, the location in a regional capital, allowed the capacity of regional elites to use new institutions to renegotiate their political relations and urban cultural hierarchy (Bandana, 1997).
Amongst displays of published scores and antique manuscripts, field recordings, musical instruments, artworks, books, photographs and personal items, are Grainger’s whips and other items relating to his sado-masochism, Grainger use to call it Lust Branch, the objects of his bedside cupboard, and a whole gallery dedicated to his beloved mother’s suicide. There are some other sound/music making devices Percy use to experiment on making new musical instruments and innovative music. Development of Museums has become part of a calculation of the value of culture as a means of economic reconstruction (Bandana, 1997).
The evolution of museums tend to form state-led initiatives that are intended to attract visitors, while anchoring cultural industries quarter for media and creative class. But such initiatives specific museums blur the broader conservation districts, with mixed public and private control is created. New museums of the city as a museum, all speak to the public through the market as techniques of government, selling entertainment experiences and urban environments as commodities rather than the means of civic improvement.
Bandana Shiva, (1997) The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge. Oxford publishers
Bjelajac, David. (2001) American Art: A Cultural History. New York: Abrams.
Bulmer, M., Solomos, J. (1997) Introduction: Race, ethnicity. Ethnic and Racial Studies 7–788
Carroll, K. L. (2007). Better visual arts education. Baltimore: Maryland State Education Department of Education (available through the National Art Education Association.
Haney López, I. F. (1995). The social construction of race. In R. Delgado (Ed.), Critical race theory: The cutting edge (pp. 191–203). Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Kiefer A. (2005). Heaven and earth. Fort Worth, TX: Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
Kleiner F. S. (2009). Gardner’s art through the ages: The Western perspective. Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.
Orlikowski, W. (2006) Material knowing: The scaffolding of human knowledgeability. European Journal of Information Systems15(5) 470–472.
White, J. H. (2004). Learning in the visual arts: Characteristics of gifted and talented individuals. In E. W. Eisner, ed., & M. Day (Eds.), Handbook of research and policy in art education (pp. 379–405). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.