In Humboldt's Shadow
H. Glenn Penny
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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Pädagogik
A compelling history of the German ethnologists who were inspired by Prussian polymath and explorer Alexander von Humboldt
The Berlin Ethnological Museum is one of the world's largest and most important anthropological museums, housing more than a half million objects collected from around the globe. In Humboldt's Shadow tells the story of the German scientists and adventurers who, inspired by Alexander von Humboldt's inclusive vision of the world, traveled the earth in pursuit of a total history of humanity. It also details the fate of their museum, which they hoped would be a scientists' workshop, a place where a unitary history of humanity might emerge.
H. Glenn Penny shows how these early German ethnologists assembled vast ethnographic collections to facilitate their study of the multiplicity of humanity, not to confirm emerging racist theories of human difference. He traces how Adolf Bastian filled the Berlin museum in an effort to preserve the records of human diversity, yet how he and his supporters were swept up by the imperialist currents of the day and struck a series of Faustian bargains to ensure the growth of their collections. Penny describes how influential administrators such as Wilhelm von Bode demanded that the museum be transformed into a hall for public displays, and how Humboldt's inspiring ideals were ultimately betrayed by politics and personal ambition.
In Humboldt's Shadow calls on museums to embrace anew Bastian's vision while deepening their engagement with indigenous peoples concerning the provenance and stewardship of these collections.
Bishop Museum, Plaster cast, Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, Scientific racism, Feather cloak, Illustration, Hamburg Museum, Felix von Luschan, Philippines, Benin, Kamehameha III, Museum, Museum Island, World War I, Supporter, Pottery, Edition (book), Curator, Archaeological site, Statue, American anthropology, Eugenics, Heinrich Schliemann, Ecuador, Scientist, Indigenous peoples, Rudolf Virchow, Leipzig, Colonialism, Eduard Seler, Prehistory, Max Uhle, World War II, Burial, Bildung, Ethnology, Alexander von Humboldt, Polynesia, Berlin, Cambodia, Prussia, Art museum, English language, North America, Myanmar, Humboldt Forum, South America, South Seas (genre), Politician, Physician, Writing, Stone sculpture, Exploration, Latin America, Benin City, Cultural heritage, Grassi Museum, Publication, Culture, Americas, Cosmopolitanism, East Asia, Material culture, Guatemala City, Wilhelm von Bode, Charles Darwin, All rights reserved, Collecting, Otto von Bismarck, Cultural history, Dahlem (Berlin), Colonial exhibition, Race (human categorization), The Hundreds, Southern Germany, New Guinea, Southeast Asia, Career, West Africa, Indonesia, Mexicans, Wealth, Archaeology, Scientific collection, Buddhism, Guatemalans, German Guatemalan, Guatemala, West Germany, Benin Bronzes, Central America, Newspaper, Germans, Franz Boas, Engraving, Lecture, Suburb, Guayaquil, Repatriation (humans), Adolf Bastian