This chapter introduces the idea that women and museums were both rapidly developing in the period 1850-1914, and that each affected the other’s development into modernity. It also introduces the idea of the distributed museum, whereby networks of objects and people around the world constitute the museum institution, and suggests this is a useful way to recover the entirety of women’s contribution to museums. Concepts of public and private, domestic and institutional are also explored, to see how these are contested issues for both gender and museums. The chapter finishes by outlining the structure of the rest of the book.
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