The creation of a museum system. Professionalizing Danish museums 1958–2018
Keywords:Professionalization, legislation, institutional development, history.
AbstractSince 1958, legislation has regulated the Danish museum field, describing the role of museums, structuring the field and defining museum work. In this article, I analyse the Danish museum legislation and the related discussions since 1958 in order to track the development of the Danish museum field. Drawing on the tradition of historical institutionalism, I identify three phases of professionalization delimited by critical junctures in 1958, 1976 and 2001. Each phase is characterized by specific aims conveying a specific understanding of professionalism. Finally, I relate the current debate about the museum field to the historical context, asking whether a new critical juncture is imminent.
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