What is it about?

This article takes an exhibition of menswear in London and asks questions about how the exhibition visitors look at the garments on display and how they see them. This prompt the creation of the gallery gaze, an idea which questions how we look at objects on display in museums and galleries.

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Why is it important?

By considering how we look at objects that are curated and displayed in exhibitions, questions such as the notion of art, the power of historical objects, and the place of both curator and visitor are interrogated. When we consider the London-centric museum culture of the United Kingdom with specific items chosen and placed on plinths for visitors to observe it is not enough to ask why them have been chosen or what the purpose of these spaces are. Instead we much ask questions of how these objects are seen and what impact this experience has on both the objects themselves and visitors to the exhibition.


Having conducted anthropological research with dress and menswear this more archival approach, drawing on the contents of an exhibition takes a different view of menswear as material culture. Offering perspectives of the anthropology of the museum, but also the placidness of the notion of masculinity and clothing within the UK .

Dr Joshua Bluteau
Coventry University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Gazing on invisible men: Introducing the gallery gaze to establish that (in)visibility is in the eye of the beholder at Westminster Menswear Archive, Journal of Material Culture, December 2021, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/13591835211066821.
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