Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Did anyone catch this story on the DIA in the FreePress?


"...The museum is reinstalling and reinterpreting 5,000 objects, rewriting thousands of labels in plain English, creating 11 high-tech interactive displays and videos, hanging large explanatory panels and adding kid-friendly features.
These strategies have become standard in special exhibitions but are rare in permanent collections and unheard of on the scale being implemented by the DIA. In effect, the DIA has remodeled its permanent collection into dozens of discrete special exhibitions....

The DIA was averaging roughly 800,000 visitors a year by 1990, but by 2003 the average was about 570,000..."

and even Tyler Green has an opinion:

..."The simplified language, size of the panels, eye-catching typography, interactive flip books and video displays push the envelope and create installations that may strike traditionalists as intrusive. A gallery exploring the fundamentals of modernism includes projected phrases above the art. 'A projection over a painting sounds like Dante's 43rd circle of hell,' said Tyler Green, a Washington, D.C., art critic who publishes the blog Modern Art Notes. 'Museums should find a way to do things without screaming at the 25% of people who don't want to be screamed at...'"


Anonymous Anonymous said...

at least they're trying to do what they feel is in the best interest of the broader audience. The smithsonian is re-writing exhibitions because they're afraid of President Bush.

Also, the attendance discrepency is more likely linked to a national cultural decline in arts awareness/interest as well as Detroit declining population over the same time period.

11:53 AM  
Blogger art blogs are fun said...

This video of beal did not convince me:


12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well... he does lack a degree of authenticity and that bow tie....

but I don't disagree with much that he says. as a matter of fact he's pretty much spot-on in the changes we are seeing across the board in terms of arts management. I genuinly do not understand the resistance to these changes. I would like to, however, as it does impact my own slice of the world being in a similar position of instituting change within in the publishing/literary infrastructure.

6:54 PM  
Blogger One Way Street said...

"Classic" labeling in art museums involves a title, artist's name with birth/death years, possible year of the work, medium, benefactor, accession number.I don't mind this per se, although it is not all that illuminating, or special, just very simple. While it seems decent for museums to offer a bit more information or interpretation, & I can appreciate the use of newer technologies - which are impacting archives, libraries & museums, & the ways they can be used & present material, it seems that a glut of "information" can be distracting as well as misleading, or reductive. My hope is that the press is emphasizing the "populist" i.e. dumb elements in order to sound all-inclusive of everyone & then some, & that the great works at the DIA will still be on display in all their glory, undiminished by the potential Disneyfication. I noticed that in the Free Press slide show - none of the art works in the photos were ever identified, which indicates either lack of knowledge or a disinterest in it. As a former Detroiter involved in the arts, I do recall a general local reticence about anything resembling culture.

5:42 PM  

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