'Museums have been the subject of intense debate in recent years and their history and development raise important questions. What was "modern" about the art museum? Why did museums emerge when and where they did? How were museums involved with the development of modern art worlds? What was the relationship between art galleries and their audiences and who were the key people involved with their inception?

Focusing on the role of national art galleries in continental Europe, England and Scotland, this book explores in depth the interrelationship between artistic and exhibitionary forms, as well as between power and governance in those places where the roots of modern culture were being laid most visibly. Drawing upon debates concerning modernity, Prior investigates how the boundaries of art and culture have been determined within the museum world. In particular, he looks at the interface between the project of the nation and the gallery and how galleries were involved in making certain social groups or bodies feel "at home" and others excluded.'

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Chapter headings
Part I: Museums and Modernity in Europe and England
From Court to State: The Emergence of National Art Museums in Continental Europe
'The Peculiarities of the English': The Formation of the National Gallery, London
II: Art Society and the Birth of the National Gallery of Scotland
Stirrings of the Modern: Art, Civil Society and the Scotish Enlightenment
The Birth of the National Gallery of Scotland, 1800-59
The High Within and the Low Without: The Social Production of Aesthetic Space in the National Gallery of Scotland, 1859-70
Museums & Modernity: Art Galleries and the Making of Modern Culture
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Museums & Modernity: Art Galleries and the Making of Modern Culture


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