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Conference paper (unpublished)

The circulation of museum objects

17 November 2010


The paper discusses the spaces of production and use of a photographic image, depicting two African elephants and their human attendant, produced in the Royal Scottish Museum in 1907. The translation of the image and its appropriation into different material forms – as photographic print, half-tone newsprint illustration, and embellished postcard – mobilised the image into various material and epistemic settings within and beyond the Museum. The contingency of meaning created in these different spaces is discussed and located within recent discourse on the materiality, or ‘thingness’, of the documentary productions of museums


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