Museums and the Representation of War

  title={Museums and the Representation of War},
  author={Jay M. Winter},
  journal={museum and society},
  • J. Winter
  • Published 2012
  • Sociology
  • museum and society
Museums are the cathedrals of the twenty-first century, in that they have filled the void left by the conventional churches as a site in which mixed populations of different faiths or no faith at all, of different origins and beliefs, confront and meditate on sacred themes – sacrifice, death, mourning, evil, brotherhood, dignity, transcendence.1 War not only belongs in museums; war dominates museum space in much of the public representation of history and will continue to do so. That being so… 

Figures from this paper

Objects and the Representation of War in Military Museums
This paper reflects upon the ability of a military museum to create diverserepresentations of war, through the use and interpretation of its objects. In this type of museum, war can be presented as
The Cold War in European museums – filling the ‘empty battlefield’
ABSTRACT Recent historical research has analysed the Cold War as an ‘imaginary war’, an interpretation that poses specific challenges for displaying the conflict in museums. In contrast to
The multiple roles of battlefield war museums: a study at Fromelles and Passchendaele
ABSTRACT Today’s war museums are large institutions that cater to a broad range of people and provide a number of functions. In recent years, activities and displays relating to the notion of
Krieg dem Kriege : The Anti-War Museum in Berlin as a Multilayered Site of Memory
Museums are prominent sites of memory in contemporary cultures (Nora, 1989). They make memory sensible, collectible and transferable through the objects, documents and images on display along with
Remaking generational memory: practices of de-canonisation at historical museums
ABSTRACT Members of generations who participated in seminal national events tend to be identified as ‘canonical’ and become a model for proper behaviour; they are important carriers of memory.
The Holy Defense Museum in Tehran, or How to Aestheticize War
In September 2013 the Iranian authorities inaugurated the Holy Defense Museum (Muzeh-i Dafa’-i Moqaddas) in the capital Tehran that also hosts a Martyrs’ Museum (Muzeh-i Shuhada) built in the early
The ‘distant war’ up close and personal: approximating Afghanistan at the Danish Arsenal Museum
ABSTRACT This paper discusses the crafting of trustworthy knowledge about war as tensioned between ideals of distance and proximity. I draw on field material assembled at the Danish Arsenal Museum in
Paradoxes of War Critique on Display: The Dresden Bundeswehr Museum of Military History
Although the Dresden Bundeswehr Museum of Military History reopened in 2011, dedicated to a ‘critical, differentiated and honest confrontation with military, war and violence’, the conflicting
Visualizing trauma: the Belgian Museum for Central Africa and its discontents
Fresh debates on the hybrid character of truth and identity undermine the authority of knowledge, and, as a consequence, its production and dissemination through public and thus officially sanctioned
Military, meaning, and tactical myopia: representations of weapons at the Royal Canadian Artillery Museum
ABSTRACT There are several military museums located across the prairie provinces of Canada that memorialise the country’s involvement in war. Drawing from fieldwork, we explore the representational


The Evidence of Experience
I am grateful to Tom Keenan for inviting me to the conference ("History Todayand Tonight," Rutgers and Princeton Universities, March 1990) where I tried out some of these ideas, and to the many
War Memorials: From Antiquity to the Present
This history of British war memorials, which includes a consideration of their artistic merits, is associated with the establishment of a national registry of war memorials, recorded and organized by
The Great War
Die Weltkriegssammlung des Historischen Museums Frankfurt’, in Ein Krieg wird ausgestellt
  • Die Weltkriegssammlung des Historischen Museums
  • 1976
Remembering War: The Great War between History and Memory in the Twentieth Century
  • Remembering War: The Great War between History and Memory in the Twentieth Century
  • 2006
Remembering War: The Great War between History and Memory in the Twentieth Century, New Haven: Yale
  • 2006
A Sacred Place: The Making of the Australian War Memorial
War against war
Museum as Memorial: The Origins of the Imperial War Museum
On the eve of the Great War, museums in Britain were both diverse in form and well-established as public institutions. They were stoutly middle-class, and perceived as an important credential of
Die Weltkriegssammlung des Historischen Museums Frankfurt
  • Ein Krieg wird ausgestellt. Die Weltkriegssammlung des Historischen Museums Themen einer Ausstellung. Inventarkatalog
  • 1914