Dr. Soanes' Odditorium of Wonders : the 19th century dime museum in a contemporary context

Thumbnail Image
Edmundson, Jane
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Fine Arts
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Arts, c2013
19th century dime museums were a North American phenomenon that flourished in urban centres from the mid- to late-1800s. Named thusly due to their low admission cost, dime museums provided democratic entertainment that was promoted to all classes as affordable and respectable. The resulting facilities were crammed with art, artifacts, rarities, living human curiosities, theatre performances, menageries, and technological marvels. The exhibition Dr. Soanes’ Odditorium of Wonders strives to recapture the spirit and aesthetic of the dime museum to invoke wonder in the viewer and to combine art, artifacts, and oddities to provoke questions about the boundary between education and amusement. Both the academic and curatorial texts utilize a mix of methodological approaches appropriate to museology, art history and cultural history: theoretical research into historiographical issues concerning theories of display and spectacle; archival research and discourse analysis of historical documents, and material culture analysis (including the semiotics of display).
iv, 60 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm
Dime museums , Museums -- Philosophy , Museums -- Educational aspects , Museums -- Political aspects , Museums -- Social aspects , Museum exhibits -- Social aspects , Museum exhibitis -- Political aspects , Museum exhibits -- Educational aspects , Dissertations, Academic