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Academic & Professional Books  History & Other Humanities  History of Science & Nature

Collections Naturalistes: Entre Science et Empires (1763-1804) [Naturalist Collections: Between Science and Empire (1763-1804)]

Series: Collection Archives Volume: 13
By: Bertrand Daugeron(Author)
635 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour & b/w illustrations
Collections Naturalistes: Entre Science et Empires (1763-1804) [Naturalist Collections: Between Science and Empire (1763-1804)]
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  • Collections Naturalistes: Entre Science et Empires (1763-1804) [Naturalist Collections: Between Science and Empire (1763-1804)] ISBN: 9782856536414 Paperback Dec 2009 In stock
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Collections Naturalistes: Entre Science et Empires (1763-1804) [Naturalist Collections: Between Science and Empire (1763-1804)]Collections Naturalistes: Entre Science et Empires (1763-1804) [Naturalist Collections: Between Science and Empire (1763-1804)]Collections Naturalistes: Entre Science et Empires (1763-1804) [Naturalist Collections: Between Science and Empire (1763-1804)]Collections Naturalistes: Entre Science et Empires (1763-1804) [Naturalist Collections: Between Science and Empire (1763-1804)]

About this book

Language: French

At the start of this investigation, there is one question of detail and that has remained unanswered since the creation of the Paris National Museum of Natural History in 1793: why did ethnographic objects leave the naturalistic collections to join the short-lived Museum of Antiquities? In 1797, the natural history museum excluded objects made by man and only kept the objects of the three kingdoms of Nature. After the failure of Antiquities Museum, the first French collections of "savage" objects were lost or at best were forgotten for nearly a century. What has happened to these exotic objects? Why have they been moved? How did they disappear?

Collected, reported, and classified, they come to sit in a place where they make sense. To try to answer these questions, this book reconsiders the universe of naturalistic collections: the objects from "savages" but also the objects of Nature. For classifying is above all a technique that relies on collections. Natural history is conceived with through its collections. Natural history revolutionized museology. The "methodical method", which follows the stage of "curiosity" gives a logical and material classification through "synpoptic tables". However, objects can not be reduced to mere scientific materials. As historical documents, they are the product of political conditions.

By questioning the circumstances of the collection of objects, a political dimension hitherto hidden emerges. Sequestrations and confiscations of revolutionary works of art and science in France and Europe, and the "voyages of discovery" to explore the Pacific took place in a context of wars and conquests. In 1763, after losing the Seven Years' War on the North American frontier, France grabbed the Pacific. In a struggle for world domination, France tries to match the efforts of the British, Spaniards and Russians in mobilizing natural history. In 1804, with the return of scientific expeditions, the Natural History Museum in Paris is home to the most important naturalist collections in the world. Science and empires meet in the redesign of new colonial spaces. This book reproduces in time and space, the places given or denied to foreign objects in the second half of the eighteenth century, when the Museum became a truly internation establishment.

Summary in French:
Au départ de l'enquête, il y a une question presque de détail et toujours sans réponse depuis la création du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle en 1793: pourquoi les objets de type ethnographique quittent-ils les collections naturalistes pour rejoindre l'éphémère Muséum des Antiques? En 1797, l'histoire naturelle exclut les objets faits par l'Homme pour ne conserver que les objets des trois règnes de la Nature. Après l'échec d'un Muséum des Antiques, les premières collections françaises d'objets des « sauvages » se perdent ou au mieux s'oublient pendant près d'un siècle. Qu'est-il donc arrivé à ces objets « exotiques »? Pourquoi ont-ils été déplacés? Comment ont-ils disparu?

Collectés, rapportés, classés, ils viennent prendre place dans un certain espace où ils font sens. Pour tenter d'y répondre, ce livre reconsidère les univers propres aux collections naturalistes: celui des objets des « sauvages » mais aussi celui des objets de la Nature. Car « classer » est avant tout une technique qui s'appuie sur les collections. L'histoire naturelle pense avec et au travers de ses collections. L'histoire naturelle révolutionne la muséographie. L'« ordre méthodique » qui succède au « curieux » accorde classement logique et rangement matériel via les « tableaux synoptiques ». Toutefois, les objets ne peuvent se réduire à de seuls matériaux scientifiques. En tant que documents historiques, ils sont le produit de conditions politiques.

En interrogeant les circonstances de la collecte des objets, du musée aux terrains, toute une dimension politique jusque-là gommée émerge. Les saisies et confiscations révolutionnaires d'objets d'arts et de sciences tant en France qu'en Europe, et les « voyages de découvertes » lors de la reconnaissance du Pacifique se déroulent dans un contexte de guerres et de conquêtes. En 1763, après la perte des possessions nord-américaines, la France vise le Pacifique. Dans une lutte pour la domination mondiale, la France tente de s'imposer vis-à-vis des Britanniques, Espagnols et Russes en mobilisant l'histoire naturelle. En 1804, avec le retour des expéditions scientifiques, le Muséum d'Histoire naturelle de Paris abrite les collections naturalistes les plus importantes au monde. Science et empires se répondent dans la refonte de nouveaux espaces coloniaux. Cet ouvrage restitue dans le temps et dans l'espace, la place donnée puis refusée aux objets des Autres dans la seconde moitié du xviiie siècle, lorsque le Muséum devenait le Musée de tous les Ailleurs.

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Series: Collection Archives Volume: 13
By: Bertrand Daugeron(Author)
635 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour & b/w illustrations
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