Steven Lubar, “Inside the Lost Museum: Curating, Past and Present” (Harvard UP, 2017)


In Steven Lubar’s latest book Inside the Lost Museum: Curating, Past and Present (Harvard University Press, 2017), Steven gets to the heart of what makes museums so interesting to both appreciate and critique. For him, the complex nature of the museum lies in the balancing act a curator and other museum staff must strike in both displaying a collection and making it open, accessible and useful while resisting the temptation to encourage or even force a certain way of looking or behaving among visitors. Structured along the four chapters collect, preserve, display and use, Steve tells the history of museums, from cabinets of curiosities and the Victorian model all the way to the contemporary in an easily accessible and very engaging way. In the last part of his book, the coda, he reveals how working with contemporary artist Mark Dion allowed him and his students from the Jenks Society for Lost Museums to think about museums in new ways, making them social and useful spaces that combine an object-centered and people-centered approach.
Ricarda Brosch is a curatorial trainee at the Asian Art Museum Berlin (Museum fur Asiatische Kunst Berlin Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz), which is due to reopen as part of the Humboldt Forum in 2019. You can find out more about her work by following her on Twitter @RicardaBeatrix or getting in touch via

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