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Transformative Beauty – Art Museums in Industrial Britain - Stanford Scholarship Online
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Transformative Beauty: Art Museums in Industrial Britain

Amy Woodson-Boulton


Why did British industrial cities build art museums? By exploring the histories of the municipal art museums in Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester, this book examines the underlying logic of the Victorian art museum movement. These museums attempted to create a space free from the moral and physical ugliness of industrial capitalism. Deeply engaged with the social criticism of John Ruskin, reformers created a new, prominent urban institution, a domesticated public space that not only aimed to provide refuge from the corrosive effects of industrial society, but also provided a remarkably uni ... More

Keywords: art museums, industrial Britain, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Victorian art museum movement, industrial capitalism, urban institution, arts policy, public cultural institutions

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780804778046
Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013 DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804778046.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Amy Woodson-Boulton, author