The political nature of making personal and cultural meaning of objects (both ordinary and aesthetic) is the site where transactions between our innate need for order and environmental influences, such as consumerism, are made. Valuing objects leads to the phenomena of collection, a subject that has been of interest in education and psychology since the nineteenth century. I ask how the private collections of children, and later adults, lead to systems of labeling, grouping, and display of art and artifacts in the art and natural history museum. In the age of the meta museum, how do educators question the museum's colonial and patriarchal practices that remain current? I use postmodern feminism to challenge these practices because of its search for alternative ways of knowing and new representations of self.
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