Museums are notoriously bad at telling us why art matters. They vociferously insist on art’s significance and rally governments, donors and visitors accordingly. But they subsequently retreat into a curious, institutional silence about what this importance might actually be based on.
The challenge is to rewrite the agendas for our museums so that art can begin to serve the needs of psychology as effectively as, for centuries, it served those of theology. Curators should dare to reinvent their spaces so that they can be more than dead libraries for the creations of the past.
I saw this posted over at the Attic and was going to post it myself, so I’ll just jump in here. Two large points really jump out at me, the first of which was already mentioned in the Attic’s post on the article. He isn’t talking about museums. He is, perhaps, talking about some art museums, but it sounds like he is talking about galleries. He’s completely forgetting about history museums, children’s museums, natural history museums, science centers, botanical gardens, zoos, the list goes on. They are museums as well. There is more to inspiration than just art.
That being said, you can’t tell someone why art is inspirational. Art reaches out to different people for different reasons. That is why not everyone likes the same pieces. If a docent were to point out pieces in a gallery explaining why they are inspirational, I would assume it meant why to that individual, not to me. Maybe I would take inspiration from that myself, but it would not be because I was told to be inspired.
Alright, off the soap-box now. Hadn’t realized I was going to get flared up over this one!