Museum and Gallery Publishing examines the theory and practice of general and scholarly publishing associated with museum and art gallery collections. Focusing on the production and reception of these texts, the book explains the relevance of publishing to the cultural, commercial and social contexts of collections and their institutions.
Combining theory with case studies from around the world, Sarah Anne Hughes explores how, why and to what effect museums and galleries publish books. Covering a broad range of publishing formats and organisations, including heritage sites, libraries and temporary exhibitions, the book argues that the production and consumption of printed media within the context of collecting institutions occupies a unique and privileged role in the creation and communication of knowledge. Acknowledging that books offer functions beyond communication, Hughes argues that this places books published by museums in a unique relationship to institutions, with staff acting as producers and visitors as consumers.
The logistical and ethical dimensions of museum and gallery publishing are also examined in depth, including consideration of issues such as production, the impact of digital technologies, funding and sponsorship, marketing, co-publishing, rights, and curators' and artists' agency.
Focusing on an important but hitherto neglected topic, Museum and Gallery Publishing is key reading for researchers in the fields of museum, heritage, art and publishing studies. It will also be of interest to curators and other practitioners working in museums, heritage and science centres and art galleries.