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Organisation of Museums

Nature volume 135, page 262 (16 February 1935) | Download Citation



THE Madrid Conference on Museography on October 28-November 1, 1934, attended by seventy-five experts representing twenty different countries, was noteworthy for the publicity it gave to the organic life led by museums outside their actual exhibition galleries, quite as much as for the success of the Conference in paving the way for a general treatise on the principles and practice of museums. The main object of this Conference, organised by the International Museums Office and the International Institute of Intellectual Co-operation, was to collect observations and the results of actual experience from as large a number of museums and countries as possible, rather than the formulation of general rules. The agenda of the Conference included discussions on the general principles of the architecture of a museum, on museum equipment both in exhibition and other public rooms and in the museum services; on lighting, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning; the conversion of ancient monuments and other buildings into museums; general principles regarding the enhancement of works of art; methods of presenting collections; organisation of stores, reserves and study collections; permanent and temporary exhibitions; problems arising from the growth of collections; exhibition material; plans of rooms and the numbering and labelling of exhibits. A number of special questions such as collections of sculpture, decorative and industrial art, folk-art and ethnography, and graphic and numismatic collections were also discussed. The Academy of Fine Arts, Madrid, was specially fitted up for the Conference by the Spanish Government, and the International Museums Office lent a considerable amount of graphic and photographic documents to illustrate the papers.

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