The Inertia of Collections

Changes against the Grain in the Rosenlew Museum of Pori, Finland

in Museum Worlds
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  • 1 University of Leicester fm211@leicester.ac.uk
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The first aim of this article is to study the persistence of the collection’s positive presentation of Rosenlew’s industrial heritage, and the second is to anthropologically reconsider what kind of knowledge is generated therein through the preservation and display of factory-made artifacts, which give a sense of concreteness and gravitas to the industrial past. By studying the permanent exhibition and the collections of the Rosenlew Museum and by organizing a workshop with schoolchildren, I reveal the presence of various inertia effects. Long-term corporate values continue to influence the development of the museum’s permanent collection not only through the arrangement of industrial artifacts into a collection but also—at a heuristic level—through epistemological frames and the indexing power of the museum assemblage.