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Inside the Museum: Curating between hope and despair: POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

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The reception of the core exception of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which opened in Warsaw on 28 October 2014, is the focus of this essay. While eschewing a master narrative, the exhibition is guided by metahistorical principles and a distinctive approach to mode of narration. Both have proven controversial as evidenced by answers to the following questions. What is the difference between a history of Polish Jews and a history of Polish Jewish relations? What is the most important period in the history of Polish Jews? Can visitors be trusted to draw the proper conclusions from a multi-voiced narrative based largely on quotations from primary sources, supported with scholarly commentary? Is a museum whose core exhibition features relatively few original objects a museum? What is the role of intangible heritage in such a museum?

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Volume/Issue

45(2-3)

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215-235

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Link to article (paywalled), Inside the Museum: Curating between hope and despair: POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Bibliographic Information

Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara Inside the Museum: Curating between hope and despair: POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. East European Jewish Affairs. 2015: 215-235.  http://archive.jpr.org.uk/10.1080/13501674.2015.1070636