I've been pondering the recent action of the Worcester Art Museum--to include information on new labels in its early American portrait gallery,about each sitter's relationship with slavery, if any, ever since I first learned of it about six weeks ago. After reading many other opinions, I've now come to my own conclusion. I don't agree with Worcester's response to the problem, … [Read more...] about The Worcester “Slavery” Label Controversy
Museums are mysterious to many people outside the art world (and maybe to people in the art world, I don't know!). That's why I highlighted Ask A Curator Day here last week, and why I asked to hear from curators who participated. One museum--prompted by a curator there--stepped up. The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco contacted me at the end of last week, and provided some … [Read more...] about What Museum Visitors Want to Know
I'm not sure how I missed Ask A Curator Day in years past; I think it's a splendid idea. Maybe because it seems to be publicized most ardently on Twitter, and I do not have a Twitter account. In any case, I read about this year's, which takes place on Wednesday, Sept. 13, on Facebook. Specifically, I read what the Getty will do, namely: Tune in to #GettyTV LIVE this … [Read more...] about Coming Soon: Ask A Curator Day
It seems to be a trend these days for art museums (and some galleries) to mix and match cultures and, sometimes, time periods. Sometimes, this is about breaking down so-called false hierarchies in art history (I do not believe they are always false), sometimes it's about appealing to new audiences, and sometimes it's simply about trying something new and keeping things … [Read more...] about Should Museums Compare and Contrast Cultures?
That is a prospect we--American consumers of art exhibitions--face, and it is that subject and its consequences for our culture that I take up in an opinion piece published this morning on Aeon, the digital magazine that covers science, philosophy and society as well as the arts. The headline is Why does contemporary art make for wildly popular blockbusters? but it is … [Read more...] about Too Much Contemporary? Too Little What Came Before?