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Spring Hurlbut: The Final Sleep = Le Dernier Sommeil

HURLBUT, Spring, Ulana Baluk and Elizabeth Mitchell

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ISBN 10: 0888544367 / ISBN 13: 9780888544360
Published by Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2001
From Jeff Hirsch Books, ABAA (Wadsworth, IL, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

First edition. Hardcover. 75 pages. Published on the occasion of an installation by Spring Hurlbut that ran April 28 through August 19, 2001. Text in English with essays by Ulana Baluk and Elizabeth McLuhan. Includes numerous color images. An about very good copy paper covered boards with a cloth spine with an abrasion and loss to the rear panel but internally a very clean copy. No dust jacket as issued. Uncommon. Bookseller Inventory # 136320

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Spring Hurlbut: The Final Sleep = Le Dernier...

Publisher: Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


In an extraordinary gesture, The Royal Ontario Museum invited Toronto artist Spring Hurlbut to create an exhibition for its Institute of Contemporary Culture. Known for her reconfigurations of antique rituals surrounding sacrifice and death, Hurlbut decided to create an exhibition from the Museum's own immense trove of research artifacts and spent nearly two years scouring its departments of Egyptology, paleobiology, mammology and ichthyology. The result is a tour-de-force of editing and formal design with over 400 objects ranging from Egyptian cat mummies to the very tools of death and mummification. Radiant in their Victorian vitrines, Hurlbut's treasures emanate an other-worldliness and, rather than instilling fear, invite contemplation. We reflect on the connections between life and death, art and science and beauty and knowledge.

In her essay, Exhibiting the New Historiography, Ulana Baluk gives a critical analysis of the development of museums and museology from the mid-19th century on. Challenging the accepted interpretation of the pre-modern museum a as a "vulgar sideshow" that needed to be reigned in so as to better instruct, she rejects the theories that have dominated museology for most of the twentieth century. She calls for museums to incorporate multiple perspectives and cultural critiques into the reading of artifacts and to re-introduce the very earliest museological discourse into contemporary practice. Spring Hurlbut, she writes "is one of the small number of artists and historians who question the assumptions about collecting. The Final Sleep reaffirms the power of earlier collecting traditions. It is a silent yet eloquent testimonial to the object's timeless capacity to inspire awe and wonder."

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