What is the cultural function of the museum? How did modern museums evolve? Tony Bennett's invigorating study enriches and challenges our understanding of the museum, placing it at the centre of modern relations of culture and government. Bennett argues that the public museum should be understood not just as a place of instruction but as a reformatory of manners in which a wide range of regulated social routines and performances take place. Discussing the historical development of museums alongside that of the fair and the international exhibition, he sheds new light upon the relationship between modern forms of official and popular culture. In a series of richly detailed case studies from Britain, Australia and North America, Bennett investigates how nineteenth- and twentieth-century museums, fairs and exhibitions have organised their collections, and their visitors. His use of Foucaultian perspectives and his consideration of museums in relation to other cultural institutions of display provides a distinctive perspective on contemporary museum policies and politics.Bennett, Tony is the author of 'Birth of the Museum History, Theory, Politics', published 1995 under ISBN 9780415053884 and ISBN 0415053889.