Do not fall in love with people like me. I will take you to museums, and parks, and monuments, and kiss you in every beautiful place, so that you can never go back to them without tasting me like blood in your mouth.I will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible. And when I leave you will finally understand, why storms are named after people.
Museum education has the power and the responsibility to do the challenging inner work of tackling tough topics and turning them into teachable moments.
Tough topics are only tough for those who don't want to approach conversation, who don't like problematizing the status quo and nuancing the narrative.
When asked why he wrote the book, Freed said: In the 1980s, I joined the small group of anthropologists who were writing about the history of their subject. I believed that I could add some balance to American anthropological history, and that the best place to start was with museums—where the story began. The more I delved into the archives, the more I was fascinated. I was hooked.
We don't need more museums that try to construct the historical narratives of a society, community, team, nation, state, tribe, company, or species. We all know that the ordinary, everyday stories of individuals are riches, more humane, and much more joyful.
I've become like one of those people I hate, the sort who go to the museum and, instead of looking at the magnificent Brueghel, take a picture of it, reducing it from art to proof. It's not Look what Brueghel did, painted this masterpiece but Look what I did, went to Rotterdam and stood in front of a Brueghel painting!
I thought of the cool, fresh air of the city I'd always dreamed of living in. The art museums and trolleys and the mysterious fog that blanketed it. I could almost smell the cappuccinos I'd planned to drink in bohemian cafes or hear the indie music in the bookstores I would spend my free time in. I pictured the friends I'd make, my kindred art people, and the dorm room I was supposed to move into.
I've never been somewhere I belonged, but there are places where I think I could be happy. Like San Francisco. Well, do art museums count? Because I feel like I belong in them.
Don't go to a museum with a destination. Museums are wormholes to other worlds. They are ecstasy machines.
As once-colonized nations seek to stand on their own, the countries once denuded of their past seek to assert their independent identities through the objects that tie them to it. The demand for restitution is a way to reclaim history, to assert a moral imperative over those who were once overlords. Those countries still in the shadow of more powerful empires seek to claim the symbols of antiquity and colonialism to burnish their own national mythmaking.
I used to wonder: Do only ignorant laypeople gaze on the colossal bust of Ramses II at the British Museum and ask themselves how it ended up there? Is it only the unschooled visitor who looks at the soaring column from the Temple of Artemis at the Met and questions why it exists in this place?
In bluntest terms, art museums risk being commercial institutions in which art is subsumed by economics and the experience of looking at art becomes a form of consumption.
For over a century, an evolving microcosm of Anthropology’s turbulent history has hidden behind the staid façade of the American Museum of Natural History. From an insider’s perspective, the well-known ethnologist Stan Freed engagingly introduces us to an amazing cast of explorers, eccentrics, idealists, pranksters and forbidding intellectual - an unlikely mix that played a key role in establishing the science of Anthropology as we know it today.
Brant had said my embellishing constituted a disservice to history and its players. But I believed the opposite. Marooning them on the forlorn island of Only What We Know, a place whose boundaries were determined by the scant information provided by a handful of surviving documents, seemed the greater disservice. I paid homage with my imagination, and hoped I might get visitors to do the same.
If we truly believe in the power of cultural institutions to impact communities and engage authentically with social justice issues, if we believe in museums’ capacity to bring about social change, improve cultural awareness, and even transform the world, than we must also believe that our internal practices have an impact, and must act according to the changes we seek.
We are not on this earth to just stand still & look pretty. The museums already have enough statues.
When we want mood experiences, we go to concerts or museums. When we want meaningful emotional experience, we go to the storyteller.
After all, isn't the purpose of the novel, or of a museum, for that matter, to relate our memories with such sincerity as to transform individual happiness into a happiness all can share?
He had been haunted his whole life by a mildcase of claustrophobia—the vestige of a childhood incident he had never quite overcome.Langdon’s aversion to closed spaces was by no means debilitating, but it had always frustrated him.It manifested itself in subtle ways. He avoided enclosed sports like racquetball or squash, and he hadgladly paid a small fortune for his airy, high-ceilinged Victorian home even though economical facultyhousing was readily available. Langdon had often suspected his attraction to the art world as a youngboy sprang from his love of museums’ wide open spaces.
In the future, churches, mosques, synagogues and temples, all of them will be museums! The intellectual progression of humanity will necessitate such a drastic and dramatic change in the human history!
We know we are a species obsessed with itself and its own past and origins. We know we are capable of removing from the sanctuary of the earth shards and fragments, and gently placing them in museums. Great museums in great cities—the hallmarks of civilisation.
This is the greatest consolation in life. In poetically well-built museums, formed from the heart's compulsions, we are consoled not by finding in them old objects that we love, but by losing all sense of Time.
In the spirit of being a reflective practitioner of ourselves we must notice your own behavior as an educator and realize how it influences other. Recognize your privileges: race, gender, ability, career, citizenship, language is all privilege. Imagine how you feel in the visitors shoes and adjust to best help them process and contextualize.
Extract and expel implicit biases from your work life. Don't taint our visitors with your bias and views. Allow them to form their own conclusions where it's developmentally appropriate.
If I walked down by different streets to the Jardin du Luxembourg in the afternoon I could walk through the gardens and then go to the Musée du Luxembourg where the great paintings were that have now mostly been transferred to the Louvre and the Jeu de Paume. I went there nearly every day for the Cézannes and to see the Manets and the Monets and the other Impressionists that I had first come to know about in the Art Institute at Chicago. I was learning something from the painting of Cézanne that made writing simple true sentences far from enough to make the stories have the dimensions that I was trying to put in them. I was learning very much from him but I was not articulate enough to explain it to anyone. Besides it was a secret. But if the light was gone in the Luxembourg I would walk up through the gardens and stop in at the studio apartment where Gertrude Stein lived at 27 rue de Fleurus.
Museums are like sports stadiums, hotels and hospitals: they are in the category of captive-audience dining.
I absorbed as many Impressionist paintings as I could, in Parisian museums and in many museums in the United States and in books, looking for clues to architecture, clothing, settings.