Shaping the identity of peripheral art museums in Israel during the nineties
The aim of this study is to explore the process that shaped the identity of peripheral art museums in Israel during decade the 1990s. This process is examined though the eyes of the curators who artistically guided and directed two of these museums, the Janco Dada Museum in Ein Hod and the Ein Harod Museum of Art at Kibbutz Ein Harod. Both museums are non-profit organizations and this study is the first to seek to understand the identity of these two small but significant art museums located in villages in the north of Israel. The research examines the meaning of the identity of the museums by drawing upon theories of museology, centre and periphery, personal and group identity and organization identity. This research is based on knowledge that is personal, unique and subjective. It is conducted using an inductive approach towards gathering, analysing and interpreting data. The research utilizes a case study approach in order to provide an explanation for the cultural organization of the museum and for the attitude of the curators. This is documentary research that is based on only one source, the museum's archives which are examined according to multi- method procedures for gathering data. The evidence showed that in both cases the process of constructing the identity of the art museums links the personal views as well as the professional aims of the curators and their activities. These activities link the identity of the art museum to the natural setting. In addition, these activities, in both cases, link the identity of the museum to the relationship of the centre and periphery. In addition, both curators wished to differentiate their museum from the centre. In the research process new links were created between diverse scientific disciplines such as museology and social science and theories derived from different fields such as art history, sociology, and centre and periphery studies. These links, contribute new insights into our understanding of museology.
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