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Re: [teacherartexchange] Museums vs. internet


From: Woody Duncan (woodyduncan_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Dec 05 2006 - 15:45:21 PST

On Dec 5, 2006, at 6:36 AM, Jan Hillmer's daughter wrote:

> 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.

        I've been mulling over your daughters assignment all day in my mind.
I hope her professor is really just testing her with this assignment.
It was the
"all of our texts ....." part that really hit me. What are these
texts ? I'd really like
to know. I've always stressed with my students that viewing the real
art was
so, so important in comparison to my reproductions, slides or web site
images. When I took them to museums and galleries they all agreed.
While some museums tend to be depositories for collections that feel
less than accessible to the public, most try to make art open and
One of the reasons I became a Docent was the many good experiences
I've had at museums around the country. I measure the level of quality
of a museum by it's docent program. When I visit a museum in Detroit,
LA, San Francisco or wherever, I try to latch on and follow a docent
guided tour around. It is such a valuable experience for me.
        What intellectual in their right mind would put forth the idea that
virtual art will make museums unnecessary. I'm not going to trade a
photo of an ice cream cone for a chance to lick the real thing. I have
over 100 web pages of my grand children, yet those pics are
meaningless if I can't get a hug from all three. Porn is all over
the internet but real sex is still widely practiced, at least I hope
so. There
are museums that need to open their collections up, but let's not shut
the doors of others because of a few.
        While I'm at it, let me make a plug for the Albuquerque museum.
It is a real jewel. Whenever anyone is in New Mexico they should not
spending time here. If you are traveling I-40 east or west stop and
visit our museum. Hey, you might even decide to stay. We can always
use another docent.
                        Just my thoughts, Woody

Woody, Retired in Albuquerque

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