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Course Code
Leanne Caroll

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Week 3, Day 1
3/31/11 MUSEUMS
-relationship btwn museum + personal experience
-museum + art history
-museum + art production
-museum as mausoleum
-aesthetic experience
-next assignment
-collect + evaluate pieces of art
-special ways of presenting pieces + travelling exhibitions
-compare narratives, chronological sequences, to recreate the forward motion of art
-often place artwork intopure art spaces unlike cluttered homes / religious buildings
-often arranges art intochapters like art history books: creates a narrative with
beginning + conclusion (significance)
-meaning in museum is created through JUXTAPOSITION of objects
-try to fill gaps in their exhibitions to present major works from all periods
Transformation of Art Museums
-the first museums were organized on historical lines, and appeared after the Old Regime
-eg. The Louvre = deluded art
-what came first: idea historical narratives or art museums?
-they seemed to appear simultaneously
-Hegel: Historical Development of Painting -> museums only make sense if art is
arranged into historical order
-however, the transformation of the art museums from historical to “museum-specific
institutions suggest that museums are open to interpretation + revision
-Manet’s Olympia
-Foucault suggests that Manet’s paintings are the firstmuseum paintings
-thus, Manet’s painting operates in specific relationship to previous paintings (Sleeping
Venus, Venus of Urbino) – with the awareness of “archival art forms
-> pop culture: awareness of art as a multitude of images/icons/etc. that act in dialogue
with one another
-older museums in France + British tend to exhibit objects that have been “raided” from
colonial places
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-new world museums – eg. Washington, Australia -> seek toeliminate” this colonialist
tendency by emulating Classical forms (Greek temples, etc.)
-art and working class: Finley and Mellon in National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
-sell reproductions, serve food, etc. to create a quality art experience for military
men + women
-National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa:
-public broadcasts of cultural productions, field trips for children
-1940s: there were several region art circuits around Canada that hosted travelling
exhibitions to satisfy art decentralization
Do Women have to be Naked to Get into the Met. Museum?
-“less than 5% of artists in Modern Art sections are women, but 85% of the nudes are
-Guerrilla Girls are artists who don gorilla masks to intervene in usual art world practices
-argue that the ideas presented in art world are not universal and natural, but come from
ppl with educational + money capital
Museums + Capital
-many museums come from monarchs
-some museums portray local archeological finds, or identification of artist as a place
(place where artist grew up or produced work)
-eg. Van Gogh Museum
-some museums areaccidental -> just reflect the wealth + passionate collection of
certain individuals
-eg, J. Paul Getty Villa Museum in Malibu
-corporate sponsorship
-if a cooperation is funding an exhibition, museum curators may feel restricted as to the
kind of art they can represent
-“hidden censorship”
-foreign places also sponsor art museums to promote their own image + trade relations
-art museums are usually seen aselitist institutions
-attendance is about 22% of pop – usually higher income + age brackets
-Siegal: audience for art has recently expanded as museum + gallery-going is semi-
obligatory for tourists
-idea that people need critics to guide them into art world is replaced by “army” of eager
consumers who find their away around art
-post-structuralist theoretical writings of 70s + 80s (death of the author + the work of the
reader) => overtaken by MASS CULTURE (=museum)
-increased production of art + Americanego” has blurred bondaries btwn visitors +
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