Europe’s national museums have since their creation been at the centre of on-going nation making processes. National museums negotiate conflicts and contradictions and entrain the community sufficiently to obtain the support of scientists and art connoisseurs, citizens and taxpayers, policy makers, domestic and foreign visitors alike. National Museums and Nation-building in Europe 1750-2010 assess the national museum as a manifestation of cultural and political desires, rather than that a straightforward representation of the historical facts of a nation.

National Museums and Nation-building in Europe 1750-2010 examines the degree to which national museums have created models and representations of nations, their past, present and future, and proceeds to assess the consequences of such attempts. Revealing how different types of nations and states – former empires, monarchies, republics, pre-modern, modern or post-imperial entities – deploy and prioritise different types of museums (based on art, archaeology, culture and ethnography) in their making, this book constitutes the first comprehensive and comparative perspective on national museums in Europe and their intricate relationship to the making of nations and states.

chapter |9 pages


Making museums and nations
ByPeter Aronsson, Gabriella Elgenius
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part Part I|76 pages

Establishing national museums 1750–2012

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chapter 2|33 pages

Museums of Civilization, Museums of State, Museums of Identity

National museums in Europe, 1918–2000
ByPéter Apor
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chapter 3|21 pages

Museums, Nations, Empires, Religions

ByTony Bennett
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part Part II|55 pages

Museum typologies

chapter 4|30 pages

The Changing Roles of Art Museums

ByDominique Poulot
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chapter 5|23 pages

History Museums and the Making of Citizens and Communities

ByIlaria Porciani
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part Part III|57 pages

Conclusions and national museum analysis

chapter 6|22 pages

National Museums as National Symbols

A survey of strategic nation-building and identity politics; nations as symbolic regimes
ByGabriella Elgenius
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chapter 7|33 pages

National Museums as Cultural Constitutions

ByPeter Aronsson
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