Public Art: Thinking Museums Differently

Front Cover
Rowman Altamira, 2006 - Art - 167 pages
Public Art acknowledges the trend among contemporary museums to promote participatory and processual exhibition strategies meant to elicit subjective experience. At the same time it valorizes the object-oriented tradition that has long differentiated museums from other institutions similarly committed to public service and the perpetuation of cultural values. To blend and expand these aims, Hein draws upon a movement toward ephemerality and impermanence in public art. She proposes a new dynamic for the museum that is temporal and pluralistic, while retaining a grounding in material things. The museum is an agent, not a repository; and like public art, it interacts constructively with passing and transitory publics. As an actor with social clout, the museum has moral impact and responsibilities beyond those of the individuals that comprise its collective identity. The book should be read by museum workers and students, by arts and foundation administrators, critics, educators, aestheticians, institutional historians and theorists, and by anyone interested in the transmission of cultural concepts and values..
 

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Contents

The Experiential Museum
1
The Private the Nonprivate and the Public
23
Public Art History and Meaning
49
Innovation in Public Art
83
Old Museums and a New Paradigm
107
Why a New Paradigm?
131
Conclusion
157
Index
161
About the Author
165
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Hilde Hein is Associate Professor of Philosophy, Emerita at Holy Cross College. Her previous books include The Museum in Transition: A Philosophical Perspective (2000) and The Exploratorium: The Museum as Laboratory (1990).

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