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Visiting with Suspicion: recent perspectives on art museums and galleries

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Christopher Whitehead


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This essay is a general introduction to many of the most pressing themes which have surrounded art museums and galleries over the last fifteen years or so. How are the existence and funding of art museums and galleries justified? What might the rationales of visitors be, and what are the conventions of visiting? What are the stories of art told in gallery space and how contestable are they? Fundamental to all of these questions is the instability of art as a philosophical concept and as a category of material or activity, and the corollary ambiguity and perhaps even fraught nature of the relationships between us and what we think of as art (or what is presented to us as such). One aim of this essay is to suggest that it may be opportune to explore these tensions in the display and interpretation of art (both historical and contemporary), even though this may undermine many of the conventions of art curatorship and visiting.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Whitehead C

Editor(s): G. Corsane

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Heritage, Museums and Galleries: an introductory reader

Year: 2004

Pages: 89-99

Publisher: Routledge

Place Published: London


Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9780415289450