19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century, No 2 (2006)

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The Album as Museum? A Response to Patrizia di Bello on an Interdisciplinary Approach to Mrs Birkbeck's Album

Victoria Mills

Abstract


This review develops Patrizia di Bello's model of the album as female collection outlined in her article ‘Mrs Birkbeck's Album: The hand-written and the Printed in Early Nineteenth-Century Feminine Culture'. The review explores the practice of Victorian women's album-making in the context of ideas about collecting and the nineteenth-century museum. It argues that such albums both appropriate and subvert aspects of museum practice. Mrs Birkbeck's album challenges the idea of a traditional, chronological display but it utilises the juxtapositional elements inherent in museum exhibition to great interpretive effect.

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