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Museums And Narratives Of Display From The Late Ottoman Empire To The Turkish Republic

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Chapter Summary

In contrast to the overarching perspective on civilization presented by many European and American museums, the institution of the museum as it has developed in the Ottoman Empire, Turkey, and elsewhere in the Middle East often has segregated collections, each determined by period and or content, in entirely separate institutions. Where narrative structures within museum-display strategies are weak, the only meaning assigned to objects becomes their categorization, reducing the possibility of multiple readings. Once the dust had settled after the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923, the new government in Ankara became engaged in redefining the imperial institutions and planning new ones in line with the needs of the nation-state. In their capacity as spaces of heritage preservation and dissemination, museums were intended to play an important role in characterizing the shared culture of the nation.

Keywords: American museum; Ankara; European museum; Middle East; museum-display strategies; narrative structures; Ottoman Empire; Turkish Republic



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