Sunday, November 10, 2013

Museums: 40 Year Trial

"Museums are temples of art, goes one argument; get the art out on the street and close the temple. Or the art is dead anyhow, so leave it in the temple and burn both. The art is victim to the structure: Museums are elitist, capitalist, sexist and largely dominated by the values of white, multimillionaire Episcopalian trustees. By maintaining the 'modern' museum as a Longleat park for wildish talent, they turn it into a model of repressive desublimation."

 –Robert Hughes, "The Museum on Trial"

Taped above my desk is a brittle page from the September 9, 1973 issue of the New York Times Magazine: "The Museum on Trial" by Robert Hughes is prescient of many museum concerns, one of which, made light by the pull quote, "And what about the quota for gay militant Chicano artists?" has recently been elucidated for the times in "Accessibility in the Arts: Who Owns the Temple? Or Is a Temple What We Need?" by Opine Season guest columnist David Mura.