Millions visit museums every year. Why do we do it?
The powerful and privileged have hoarded precious artifacts in museums for centuries, and it's only recently that these treasures were made available to the rest of us. What purpose did museums serve? And why does every city have one today?
videos + essays
The word “museum” comes from the nine Muses, the classical Greek goddesses of inspiration.
An interview with Fred Wilson about the conventions of museums and race
Artist Fred Wilson talks about the conventions of the museum and how he used them in his art to disrupt the inherent biases and traditional understandings that museums and its patrons have had
Local art appropriation in France—a study of the loot in the Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum opened its doors on August 10, 1793 as the Muséum Français, but by today’s standards the methods used to assemble the collection would be considered unethical.
1. A brief history of the art museum
How did cabinets of curiosities become temples to the Enlightenment? Explore the fascinating history of museums.
2. Museums and politics: the Louvre, Paris
Art museums and politics have a long and complex relationship; nowhere is this more apparent than the Louvre.
3. Art Museums and (Art) Objects
"It is to kill art to make history of it" — the neutralizing effect of the art museum.
4. Artists in and against the museum
Just as museums have nurtured artistic creativity, they have also become the target of serious critique from artists themselves.
5. The changing social functions of art museums
From privately owned collections to blockbuster exhibitions for the public, museums continue to evolve.
6. Looking at Art Museums
Far from being neutral, museum are deeply rooted in a thicket of political, sociological, and ideological histories.
Remake the Met
The Met Museum in New York is filled with masterpieces of human creativity, but is there a better way to organize what's inside?
The case for museums
Museums are more than collections that once belonged to the rich—they can help us understand our history.
How museums shape meaning
The architecture of museums has long been used to shape national identity, and to frame collective memory.
Special thanks to Dr. Elizabeth Rodini