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Museum

In: English and Literature

Submitted By act0o9
Words 273
Pages 2
It is basically correct to say that, in the mind of the public, the MMA has no image. There is nothing about this [building] that says, “I’m a museum,” or “Come in.” There are a lot of people that are not interested in high culture and think this is a drive-in bank or an office building.
Most art museums in America have a problem with image. One of the things that makes me mad is that people think there is something wrong with the museum. The MMA is one of the most public in the country, and more heavily dependent on the mem- bership contribution than any other [museum]. Like most, it is underendowed and underfunded from reliable public funds. In fact, the American Association of Museums reports that only about 60 percent of America’s 2000-plus art museums have enough income from their endowment to cover their operating costs. Nevertheless, this institu- tion has chosen to be public, with free access, and this is very noble. It is wonderful that the museum has decided not to belong to an agglomeration of very rich people.
This museum has more character than it thinks it has. It has the best balanced collection between Western and non-Western art of any museum in the country. We have not chosen to sell or promote the unique aspects of this collection or the museum’s emphasis on historical context.What we have are the makings of an institu- tion that is very different from other museums, and we ought to be able to make that into an advantage rather than apologize for it.

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