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[teacherartexchange] Museums vs. internet


From: Hillmer, Jan (HillmJan_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Dec 05 2006 - 05:36:58 PST

Hi everyone,

  My daughter is in college, studying classics and art history with an
interest in museum work, particularly education. Anyway, last night she
emailed the request below. I've already sent her to the following
sites:,,, I also wrote
to her about how the museums literally hold 'primary documents.' As a
historian, there is importance in the primary documents, and likewise,
with a piece of art, the work itself carries visual information that
cannot be conveyed by digital museums, etc. however, the digital museums
give access to those who'd never be able to see the artwork in person.
Anyway, I suggested she join this forum, but in the meantime, I thought
it would be a great subject for discussion.


Hey mom! I'm writing this paper addressing the presence of digital
reproductions of art on the internet, facilitated by both encyclopedic
databases (wikipedia, google, etc) as well as museum websites (,, etc). I'm trying to analyze the value
of art's actual, physical existence (and thus the existence of museums)
over its intellectual accessibility now present to people everywhere via
the internet. Do you have any ideas where I can find information about
the value of museums? I just don't know what to read...all of our texts
disrepute museums and knock them for preserving archaic ideas of
intelligence, wealth and power attached to art and thus creating a sense
of exclusivity. Anyways...if you have any ideas or (especially!)
articles, authors, or sources I should check, that'd be really helpful!
It's due Thursday, and I can get by without them, but anything you could
offer would be really appreciated! Thanks;

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