Sunday, August 7, 2011
I took this picture in an unnamed museum this past week. Several thoughts came to mind:
That no matter how hard you and your team might work, something as insignificant as this--a registrar's identification tag sticking out from behind a painting--can sink the way the public sees you. Reminds me of my first visit to the new Tate building that had shoe prints on the wall. It was mid-week--the staff had at least a few days to clean up from weekend crowds. Sloppy!
Museums are a tough balance between asking broad, intelligent questions about material, social, political and cultural life and the pernicious details of crossing t's and dotting i's.
Having started off as a cataloguer at the Museum of Modern Art, I crossed a lot of t's. In my current post I am looking at some of the bigger questions that artists can help us as a society address. Keeping these poles of activity together is a tough task, but it separates the good institutions from the mediocre.