‘A rather undefined social position and public recognition’: professionalization, status, and masculinity in provincial museums, c.1870-1930

Hill, Kate (2021) ‘A rather undefined social position and public recognition’: professionalization, status, and masculinity in provincial museums, c.1870-1930. Gender & History . ISSN 0953-5233

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-0424.12514

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‘A rather undefined social position and public recognition’: professionalization, status, and masculinity in provincial museums, c.1870-1930
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Abstract

This article examines the background, careers and self-presentation of the first generation of
British museum curators in local-government funded provincial museums, around 1900, to
explore the issue of masculinity among the lower-middle classes. It argues that while such
men were sometimes mocked for the lack of masculinity they showed in their domestic lives,
a focus on their professional lives reveals a different set of problems facing them as they
attempted to be manly men; curatorial roles, like others available to the lower-middle classes,
involved dependence on local elites, and required many of the skills and attributes which
were being colonised by new women professionals. It goes on to examine the tactics used,
with some success, by such men to assert a professional masculinity, focusing on their
identification with their museum, their development of a professional body, and their
investment in manly physical activities.

Keywords:masculinity, curating, lower middle class
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V320 Social History
V Historical and Philosophical studies > V210 British History
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (History)
ID Code:42773
Deposited On:08 Dec 2020 13:17

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