Download Civilizing rituals : inside public art museums by Carol Duncan PDF

By Carol Duncan

The artwork museum as ritual -- From the princely gallery to the general public paintings museum: the Louvre Museum and the nationwide Gallery, London -- Public areas, deepest pursuits: municipal artwork museums in manhattan and Chicago -- anything everlasting: the Donor Memorial -- the fashionable artwork museum: it is a man's global

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6 The eighteenth-century dining room from Lansdowne House, London, as installed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (photo: author). ) From those decades date proposals for public art galleries and campaigns to increase access to existing public museums and monuments. In the context of early nineteenth-century Britain, these efforts were highly political in nature and directly furthered a larger project to expand the conventional boundaries of citizenship. ” The effort to define and control these spaces would build as the nineteenth century wore on.

Landowners, both old and newly arrived, thereby justified their monopoly of political rights on the basis of their land holdings. In fact—and contrary to the claims of their apologists—the great landowners exercised power according to narrow self-interest. The business of government was largely a matter of buying and selling influence and positioning oneself for important government appointments, lucrative sinecures, and advantageous marriages for one’s children. 46 To be even a small player in this system required a great show of wealth, mediated, of course, by current codes of good taste and breeding.

45 Why was Parliament so resistant to establishing a national gallery? In the years between the founding of the Louvre in 1793 and the fall of Napoleon in 1815, almost every leading European state acquired a national art museum, if not by an act of the reigning monarch then through the efforts of French occupiers, who began museum building on the Louvre model in several places. Why did the ruling oligarchs of Great Britain resist what was so alluring in Berlin, Madrid, and Amsterdam? The answer to this question, I believe, lies in the meaning of the art gallery within the context of eighteenth-century patrician culture.

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