Monday, May 22, 2006

Museum Inc. - A New Book

Another quicky related to recent musings on some art blogs regarding the corporate influence on museum boards - most recently between Lisa Hunter and Bill Gusky. Now this topic is not new and has been at the center of a lot of critical discourse over the last several years. We art bloggers are admittedly somewhat behind the curve but the topic is always relevent and evolving. Now there is a book - perhaps the book on the topic to date.

Please note that I am certainly late in being aware of this, but ran a review of Musuem Inc. Inside the Global Art World, by Paul Werner back in April. Mr. Werner worked closely with Tom Krens over at the Guggenheim and had a front row seat during the museum's revolutiuonary makeover into franchise and brand. The museum under Krens no longer brought art to an audience but delivered its audience to a new sponsor - Harley Davidson, Armani, etc.

Here's a choice quote from Paul Werner: "The role of the American art museum is to launder the money of its trustees and sponsors, not, as you may think, by turning one asset('cocaine,' for instance) into another asset (say, 'Rembrandts'), but by turning artworks into objects of authority and trust - objects that mediate and are mediated by the worth of money. The American art museum turns art into buzz the way its owners turn pork bellies into pork-belly futures."

Now that's head on!

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