Whose Muse?: Art Museums and the Public Trust / Edition 1by James Cuno, Philippe de Montebello, Glenn D. Lowry, Neil MacGregor, John Walsh Jr.
Pub. Date: 09/13/2006
Publisher: Harvard University Art Museums
During the economic boom of the 1990s, art museums expanded dramatically in size, scope, and ambition. They came to be seen as new civic centers: on the one hand as places of entertainment, leisure, and commerce, on the other as socially therapeutic institutions. But museums were also criticized for everything from elitism to looting or illegally exporting
During the economic boom of the 1990s, art museums expanded dramatically in size, scope, and ambition. They came to be seen as new civic centers: on the one hand as places of entertainment, leisure, and commerce, on the other as socially therapeutic institutions. But museums were also criticized for everything from elitism to looting or illegally exporting works from other countries, to exhibiting works offensive to the public taste.
Whose Muse? brings together five directors of leading American and British art museums who together offer a forward-looking alternative to such prevailing views. While their approaches differ, certain themes recur: As museums have become increasingly complex and costly to manage, and as government support has waned, the temptation is great to follow policies driven not by a mission but by the market. However, the directors concur that public trust can be upheld only if museums continue to see their core mission as building collections that reflect a nation's artistic legacy and providing informed and unfettered access to them.
The book, based on a lecture series of the same title held in 2000-2001 by the Harvard Program for Art Museum Directors, also includes an introduction by Cuno and a fascinatingand surprisingly frankroundtable discussion among the participating directors. A rare collection of sustained reflections by prominent museum directors on the current state of affairs in their profession, this book is without equal. It will be read widely not only by museum professionals, trustees, critics, and scholars, but also by the art-loving public itself.
- Harvard University Art Museums
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- New Edition
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Table of Contents
|Preface and Acknowledgments||7|
|A Pentecost in Trafalgar Square||27|
|The Object of Art Museums||49|
|Pictures, Tears, Lights, and Seats||77|
|The Authorities of the American Art Museum||103|
|A Deontological Approach to Art Museums and the Public Trust||129|
|Art Museums, Inspiring Public Trust||151|
|Round Table Discussion||171|
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