Civilizing Rituals: Inside Public Art Museums (Leicester-Nottingham Studies in Ancient Society)
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The book has five chapters, the first starts with the history of art museums in recent Western society. This chapter was insightful. It revealed how the idea of the art museum, using the Louvre Museum as an example, set the standard and foundation for framing art in the public sphere. Future galleries were built on this idea of using grand and imposing buildings, the Louvre was originally a palace after all to present opulent and rich collections to the public.
The concept of liminality is also introduced in this first chapter. The construct describes how we experience art galleries—as a mode of consciousness where individuals are suspended from everyday reality and can view themselves and what they are experiencing, e.
The idea was first conceived by Belgian folklorist Arnold Van Gennep in p This concept rings true for other cultural events. What is telling are the fundamental differences in the founding principles of museums in Europe in contrast to the United States. The Louvre is the most glaring example of an art gallery opened for the people, a symbol of democracy albeit under pressure , with the opening up the doors of the palace and allowing the art to be viewed and enjoyed by all walks of life.
Similarly in London the British National Gallery, established din was a statement of nationalism.
The gallery was established for the people, a gesture of openness to allay the growing resentment of the working class towards the the privileged ruling few. Yet the development of art museums in the United States stems from a different set of founding principles. The roots of US museums in the major cities such as New York The Met , Boston Fine Arts and Chicago Art Institute stemmed from a small group of wealthy businessman who held a different set of motivations than their European counterparts.
Large US cities, like New York and Chicago, consisted of large groups of immigrants and working class groups, and museums were a means to bring culture to the working class, to instill political stability, and social order. Yet Duncan also suggests that the art museums in the US created class boundaries and catered to the elite by their policies opening hours for instance and the programs they offered.
This contrasted to the policies of European art institutions which seemed more aligned with inclusiveness and accessibility. This chapter changed my perception of art philanthropy.
On one hand I see such such donations as generous and benevolent, yet when considering some of the restrictions that have accompanied some of these donations, as in the Gardner museum where the donor insisted in her will that everything must stay the same in the museum—paintings can never be moved from her original layout for instance, it seems short-sighted, almost narcissistic. Yet another consideration is how the donor, even after death, shapes how art is viewed and experienced.
It made me think outside the box on how art museums, more so than other type of museums, create barriers to people visiting them, especially in the United States. It prompted further thought on the value of museums, their role in society, as places of learning, sharing, and building community. Oct 14, Alexandra Rolo rated it really liked it. Mar 29, Allison Keilman rated it it was amazing. An easy reading but informative overview of how museums have historically been structured and created in both the U. The ritual focus is often overlooked by the average museum visitor and this book dedicates itself to righting that.
My only critique is that the final chapter's dive into a gender discussion - though valid and interesting in its own right - seemed a bit out of place or tangential at times. Sep 16, Nicholas rated it it was amazing Shelves: The Art Museum as Ritual. Sep 07, Nina rated it liked it Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.
Civilizing Rituals: Inside Public Art Museums
To view it, click here. Chapters 1 and 5. Rachel rated it really liked it Aug 30, Courtney rated it really liked it Jun 14, Jason Lee rated it it was amazing Jan 26, Bailey rated it really liked it Sep 19, Kate Mothes rated it really liked it Feb 22, Colleen rated it really liked it Oct 06, Pinchy rated it really liked it Jan 05, Marleen rated it liked it Jun 13, Judy rated it really liked it Jan 09, Carli Braithwaite rated it it was amazing Apr 09, Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days When will my order arrive?
Home Contact Us Help Free delivery worldwide. Inside Public Art Museums. Description Illustrated with over fifty photos, Civilizing Rituals merges contemporary debates with lively discussion and explores central issues involved in the making and displaying of art as industry and how it is presented to the community. Carol Duncan looks at how nations, institutions and private individuals present art , and how art museums are shaped by cultural, social and political determinants.
Civilizing Rituals is ideal reading for students of art history and museum studies, and professionals in the field will also find much of interest here. Product details Format Hardback pages Dimensions x x 14mm People who bought this also bought. Art As Experience John Dewey.
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