Praise for the Book
“Authority. What is it and who has it? Or better, Who used to have it and who has it now? Museums generally, but history museums especially, have been wrestling with these questions for two decades. This useful and intelligent offering from Pew, with contributions from 21 artists, educators, and museum practitioners, may help us get closer to some answers. Or even refine the questions, which seem to be along the lines of what is lost and what is gained when we invite the public into the once-sacred realm of interpretation?”
“The essays and conversations in Letting Go? are accessible and share important insights, best practices, and hard-won experiences with readers. Together, they would be of use to students and scholars, especially those in museum studies, history, material culture studies, anthropology, and art. Letting Go? fills a need for guides on sharing authority for new and established museum professionals and those who work with museums.”
“Our values direct what we do and how we do it. Letting Go? recognizes power structures in existing models and challenges us to articulate our values, reflect on our work, and sharpen our practice. Are we truly living out our values? Letting Go? provides fresh directions for meaningful, responsive and strategic community-based work.”
— Cassie Chinn, Deputy Executive Director, Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
“Technically, historical authority has always been shared with the public, but the expert public voice has not always been able to break through the practiced illusions of monumental scholarship and hallowed history. The marvelous and inspiring examples in Letting Go? will shape the aspirations of the future history museum as its practice leaders readjust their grip on ideas of authority. It will also guide institutions as they fulfill the next steps after letting go: reaching out, embracing lives, and reflecting, in the presence of the past and each other, on the complex beauties of our culture. This is a book about becoming something together, our most important process as human beings.”
—David Carr, author of Open Conversations: Public Learning in Libraries and Museums
To order your copy, visit the Left Coast Press website or Amazon.