A Sense of Place

By James Cuno

Sorry to be late to these very interesting blog comments.  A quick thought: among all the things they do, the arts enhance our sense of place, of how we are part of not only where we live, the immediate community of which we are a part, but also the larger community of which equally a part, the human community of people struggling to make a life and enrich it here on earth and in interlocking and interdependent communities of individuals.  For example, the Art institute is a museum in a large and diverse city.  Its collections are encyclopedic, represenative of most of the world's artaistic cultures.  We show them all, equally: one work of art from one culture next to another without prejudice.  And by their presentation we introduce our visitors to the world distant from them/ourselvs in time and space.  But since so many people are  now living outside the country of their birth - Chicago has some 26 ethnic communities with more than 25,000 members each -- and thus much of the world is moving here, next door, through our collections we are introducing our visitors to their neighbors.  All of a sudden, with the tragic news of the bombings in Mumbai and the sectarian violence in Nigeria, our South Asian and West African collections take on new meaning.  And our sense of place has been both widened and deepened.

James Cuno

December 3, 2008 2:20 PM | | Comments (0) |

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This Conversation For decades, as teaching of the arts has been cut back in our public schools, alarms have been raised about the dire consequences for American culture. Artists and arts organizations stepped in to try to... more

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