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Author Topic: Are Museums Destroying Art?  (Read 18735 times)
Peter McLennan
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« Reply #100 on: August 29, 2012, 11:22:30 AM »
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... reading the voices here in favour of mob rule...
Rob C

I'm not sure, Rob, that the voices are in favour of mob rule, it's just that they realize there's no changing those behaviours.  Absent rigorous (and expensive) enforcement of draconian regulations, "mob rule" will persist.
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kencameron
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« Reply #101 on: August 29, 2012, 06:33:51 PM »
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"The museum is not part of the entertainment industry," he says firmly when I ask about the transition, in the past few decades, of public art galleries from places of quiet contemplation into hives of noisy activity. "It's a place for education, to have a memorable experience of art. I don't think one needs to abandon the idea that the museum is a little bit like a temple, or a sanctuary. This doesn't mean that it has to be distant from society, or the public. One of our roles is to convince the public that they need to have this experience - but not at any price."

Miguel Zugaza, director of the Prado. Full interview here - probably paywalled so be warned. On the other hand, the Prado charges for admission and doesn't turn people away, and churches and other temples and sanctuaries themselves have to cater for quiet contemplation without excluding or discouraging the crowds of children. What has been most interesting to me about this thread (apart of course from virtuoso displays of misanthropic nostalgia by the usual suspects) are the suggestions for how to manage this balance - public education, expert docents, extra charges for photography, timed entrance, bans or restrictions on flash photography, all the way to population control. I think we can be confident that Senor Zugaza is thinking about (some of) these and other approaches. For my part, I always check with museums about the best times to visit blockbusters (as a retiree I have that luxury), I carry binoculars so I can do some contemplating from a distance, and I have a well-honed technique for moving gently through the crowd towards the painting. And when I can't see the art, I enjoy, as best I can, watching the people, based on the belief that grumpy frustration is a mood best avoided and that no-one can avoid for me.
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Rob C
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« Reply #102 on: August 30, 2012, 02:43:25 AM »
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"The museum is not part of the entertainment industry," he says firmly when I ask about the transition, in the past few decades, of public art galleries from places of quiet contemplation into hives of noisy activity. "It's a place for education, to have a memorable experience of art. I don't think one needs to abandon the idea that the museum is a little bit like a temple, or a sanctuary. This doesn't mean that it has to be distant from society, or the public. One of our roles is to convince the public that they need to have this experience - but not at any price."

Miguel Zugaza, director of the Prado. Full interview here - probably paywalled so be warned. On the other hand, the Prado charges for admission and doesn't turn people away, and churches and other temples and sanctuaries themselves have to cater for quiet contemplation without excluding or discouraging the crowds of children. What has been most interesting to me about this thread (apart of course from virtuoso displays of misanthropic nostalgia by the usual suspects) are the suggestions for how to manage this balance - public education, expert docents, extra charges for photography, timed entrance, bans or restrictions on flash photography, all the way to population control. I think we can be confident that Senor Zugaza is thinking about (some of) these and other approaches. For my part, I always check with museums about the best times to visit blockbusters (as a retiree I have that luxury), I carry binoculars so I can do some contemplating from a distance, and I have a well-honed technique for moving gently through the crowd towards the painting. And when I can't see the art, I enjoy, as best I can, watching the people, based on the belief that grumpy frustration is a mood best avoided and that no-one can avoid for me.


Nice post, but difficult to understand the conflation of misanthropy with respect for peace and quiet. Are you, then, suggesting that the hooligan element is misanthropic by nature?

Rob C
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #103 on: August 30, 2012, 03:27:36 AM »
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Isn't 'mob rule' just a provocative term for 'democracy'?  Grin
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Publius
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« Reply #104 on: August 30, 2012, 03:32:41 AM »
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I have an idea. Let's have a select group of self-proclaimed art critics gather up all the worthy artwork, and hide them from general view. They can tell us how wonderful the works are, and we peasants can only wish to travel to the remote lands that house these works. The article was written in a highly snobbish manner. I feel insulted.

I can appreciate that the author did not get his full enjoyment of the artwork due to others. Welcome to planet Earth. I would love to go to Yellowstone, but those damn tourists are everywhere. Maybe we can get Mayor Bloomberg to clear Times Square so I can capture the lights with all those damn people.

The author is being lazy. He wants to see the artwork that others have proclaimed masterpieces. What he should be doing is getting out looking for unknown masterpieces. Is that not what we nature photographers do? We find the locations to see a scene different from the rest. We do not mind the crowds cramming together at the spot with a big camera pictured on a sign. We move down the path, off the path, we find the spot others have passed or never thought to take a shot.

I suggest the author limit guests at his next exhibition at a gallery to one at a time. Have the rest wait on the sidewalk. This way, each person can have a personal experience with his artwork. Also do not dilute their experience by having a poster or flier with an image of what. Websites? No longer valid. Have the real art connoisseurs make the pilgrimage to your studio to see the original pieces.
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Rob C
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« Reply #105 on: August 30, 2012, 05:36:08 AM »
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Isn't 'mob rule' just a provocative term for 'democracy'?  Grin


Taking account of the emoticon, I assume you are having a giggle and playing devil's advocate?

Rob C
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #106 on: August 30, 2012, 05:37:39 AM »
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Yup.
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Rob C
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« Reply #107 on: August 30, 2012, 05:38:51 AM »
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I have an idea. Let's have a select group of self-proclaimed art critics gather up all the worthy artwork, and hide them from general view. They can tell us how wonderful the works are, and we peasants can only wish to travel to the remote lands that house these works. The article was written in a highly snobbish manner. I feel insulted.

I can appreciate that the author did not get his full enjoyment of the artwork due to others. Welcome to planet Earth. I would love to go to Yellowstone, but those damn tourists are everywhere. Maybe we can get Mayor Bloomberg to clear Times Square so I can capture the lights with all those damn people.

The author is being lazy. He wants to see the artwork that others have proclaimed masterpieces. What he should be doing is getting out looking for unknown masterpieces. Is that not what we nature photographers do? We find the locations to see a scene different from the rest. We do not mind the crowds cramming together at the spot with a big camera pictured on a sign. We move down the path, off the path, we find the spot others have passed or never thought to take a shot.

I suggest the author limit guests at his next exhibition at a gallery to one at a time. Have the rest wait on the sidewalk. This way, each person can have a personal experience with his artwork. Also do not dilute their experience by having a poster or flier with an image of what. Websites? No longer valid. Have the real art connoisseurs make the pilgrimage to your studio to see the original pieces.


What an amazing display of considered logic; must be election year somewhere.

Rob C
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petercook80
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« Reply #108 on: August 30, 2012, 10:26:12 AM »
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I have an idea. Let's have a select group of self-proclaimed art critics gather up all the worthy artwork, and hide them from general view. They can tell us how wonderful the works are, and we peasants can only wish to travel to the remote lands that house these works. The article was written in a highly snobbish manner. I feel insulted.

I can appreciate that the author did not get his full enjoyment of the artwork due to others. Welcome to planet Earth. I would love to go to Yellowstone, but those damn tourists are everywhere. Maybe we can get Mayor Bloomberg to clear Times Square so I can capture the lights with all those damn people.

The author is being lazy. He wants to see the artwork that others have proclaimed masterpieces. What he should be doing is getting out looking for unknown masterpieces. Is that not what we nature photographers do? We find the locations to see a scene different from the rest. We do not mind the crowds cramming together at the spot with a big camera pictured on a sign. We move down the path, off the path, we find the spot others have passed or never thought to take a shot.

I suggest the author limit guests at his next exhibition at a gallery to one at a time. Have the rest wait on the sidewalk. This way, each person can have a personal experience with his artwork. Also do not dilute their experience by having a poster or flier with an image of what. Websites? No longer valid. Have the real art connoisseurs make the pilgrimage to your studio to see the original pieces.

I am very glad you feel insulted, after all 'Welcome to planet Earth' , but if you really believed what you wrote you would not be insulted at all.
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Rob C
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« Reply #109 on: August 30, 2012, 11:49:08 AM »
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I am very glad you feel insulted, after all 'Welcome to planet Earth' , but if you really believed what you wrote you would not be insulted at all.


Peter, your namesake couldn't have put it better!

;-)

Rob C
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Publius
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« Reply #110 on: August 30, 2012, 12:22:03 PM »
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I am very glad you feel insulted, after all 'Welcome to planet Earth' , but if you really believed what you wrote you would not be insulted at all.
The insult is to tell me I'm not worthy of viewing a masterpiece unless I bow on somber knees.
Arrogance and snobbery - that is what the article is all about.
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AFairley
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« Reply #111 on: August 30, 2012, 02:13:38 PM »
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The insult is to tell me I'm not worthy of viewing a masterpiece unless I bow on somber knees.
Arrogance and snobbery - that is what the article is all about.

Well, a cat may look at a king, as they say.  But the cat should not poop in the throne room.  The article is talking about all the pooping in the throne room that's going on.  I prefer rooms without cat poop, myself.
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Rob C
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« Reply #112 on: August 30, 2012, 05:44:13 PM »
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The insult is to tell me I'm not worthy of viewing a masterpiece unless I bow on somber knees.
Arrogance and snobbery - that is what the article is all about.



Thing is, nobody's telling you that at all: they are just asking you nicely not to bring your flash camera to the party, and that when you do come, you behave yourself. Nobody has told anybody that they are not worthy of looking at anything. That's just an internal reaction of your own making, and from your own evaluations of the matter and your place within it.

Stay focussed and the situation's very simple, very clear, and not about class or wealth or privilege of any kind. It's about one thing: behaving with respect. If doing that's too difficult, then anyone who finds it so really should stay away.

Rob C
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kencameron
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« Reply #113 on: August 30, 2012, 06:58:21 PM »
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... difficult to understand the conflation of misanthropy with respect for peace and quiet. Are you, then, suggesting that the hooligan element is misanthropic by nature?

The misanthropy I am talking about is essentially my own, when confronted with too many people getting in the way of my desire for peace and quiet. "Hooligan element" overstates the case, at least in my experience. I have encountered people about whom I would use the term outside pubs after midnight, but never in an Art Gallery. Those people do seem quick to indulge in hostility. The more subtle kind of misanthropy which I attributed to others in this thread, but on  reflection should rather have acknowledged in myself, is essentially about turning my own discomfort at the presence of others into hostility towards them. I am not saying there is no such thing as inappropriate behaviour - just that I may sometimes have a conflict of interest when I think I detect it in Art Galleries.
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petermfiore
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« Reply #114 on: August 30, 2012, 08:31:23 PM »
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Stay focussed and the situation's very simple, very clear, and not about class or wealth or privilege of any kind. It's about one thing: behaving with respect. If doing that's too difficult, then anyone who finds it so really should stay away.

Rob C
[/quote

I don't think behaving with respect is all that difficult, but rather they have no idea about how they are to behave. Respect! What's that!!!!
This is very much our society today. Very sad.

Peter


« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 08:41:09 PM by petermfiore » Logged

Publius
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« Reply #115 on: August 30, 2012, 09:27:23 PM »
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Well, a cat may look at a king, as they say.  But the cat should not poop in the throne room.  The article is talking about all the pooping in the throne room that's going on.  I prefer rooms without cat poop, myself.
What if someone deems that you are cat poop and bans you from the throne room?

Thing is, nobody's telling you that at all: they are just asking you nicely not to bring your flash camera to the party, and that when you do come, you behave yourself. Nobody has told anybody that they are not worthy of looking at anything. That's just an internal reaction of your own making, and from your own evaluations of the matter and your place within it.

Stay focussed and the situation's very simple, very clear, and not about class or wealth or privilege of any kind. It's about one thing: behaving with respect. If doing that's too difficult, then anyone who finds it so really should stay away.

Rob C
I will never set foot in France. No desire to go there, but I would like to see what the Mona Lisa looks like. Maybe also the next great masterpiece as well. You can claim there are reproductions of the Mona Lisa all over and therefore no need for others to take their photos, too. Now say the same for Old Faithful in Yellowstone. Say the same for General Sherman in Yosemite. Say the same for the Grand Canyon, or Red Rock Canyon. The Statue of Liuberty has been taken from every possible angle, so why do people still take their own pictures?

Others are trying to tell me how I should enjoy viewing the Mona Lisa or some other masterpiece. I reject that. That they consider their approach the only right approach is snobbery, and nothing else.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #116 on: August 30, 2012, 09:51:52 PM »
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and that when you do come, you behave yourself.

Ah yes, but "behaving yourself" has various shades and meanings.  What one might call "respect", another might term "excessive exuberance".

Who's gonna judge? 

 
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #117 on: August 30, 2012, 09:55:08 PM »
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...I will never set foot in France...

Is this guy for real!? Huh
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Slobodan

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« Reply #118 on: August 30, 2012, 11:15:07 PM »
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Is this guy for real!? Huh

Easy there, Slobodan. It's more France for the rest of us.
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kencameron
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« Reply #119 on: August 31, 2012, 01:23:02 AM »
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I would like to see what the Mona Lisa looks like

Of course it is not the same as seeing it, but the high resolution image provided by the Louvre here is worth, and caters for, a close look. You can look into her eyes, or into the cracks on her paint.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 02:03:36 AM by kencameron » Logged

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