Similar to schools, museums are spaces of knowledge production. This production of knowledge reflects and depends upon the complex social relationships that exist within museums between people, objects, and personal experiences. More recent understandings of museums have posited that these relationships are dynamic and fluid, resulting in multiple ways of producing meaning.

The Historical Context

The American Association of Museums currently recognizes all institutions that collect, preserve, and interpret objects as museums, including art and history museums, aquariums, science and nature centers, and zoos. Most of the scholarship and historiography of American museums has focused on art and history museums. The painter Charles Wilson Peale opened one of the first American museums in 1794 in Philadelphia, when he displayed his personal collections of anthropological and art objects. ...

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