Å gjøre museumsgjenstander. Åtte øgler og en maursluker i det sene 1700-tallets El Real Gabinete de Historia Natural

  • Lise Camilla Ruud


The article analyses the field of eighteenth-century Hispanic history of science, little known to northern scholars, with the use of concepts from actor- network theory, combining these with a traditional Scandinavian ethnological close-up study of objects. The introductory part discusses the production of flasks as a way of standardizing natural objects at the late eighteenth-century Royal Cabinet of Natural History. The following section analyses how eight lizards were integrated into a variety of practices on their way to the Madrid museum. Thereafter, five different images of an anteater are discussed as forming part of the museum’s outreaching practices of display. The article demonstrates a fruitful approach to the histories of museums and their objects: Objects are seen as “enacted realities” which incorporate in radically different practices, and many versions of them exist simultaneously. Museum objects stretch out and connect with ideas and actors, objects travel and are continuously being done, inside and outside the museum building.