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Question And Answer About Art Meseums

719 words - 3 pages

1. Why does Carol Duncan believe that the art museum is a ritual setting?

Duncan noted that the Boston Museum of Fine Arts represents the similar architecture of a Greek temple. This resemblance can be seen in the Erechtheion, located in Athens, which exemplifies this comparison. The Erechtheion is built with Ionic orders, which is one of the three main orders that were used in classical Greek architecture. The Ionic is mostly famous for its “scrolls” that decorate the top of the column. You see the same style of columns holding up the architrave of the Boston Museum. Also visible, is the frontal staircase that leads up to the entrance, which is located just behind the columns. Indeed most of their history they were designed to resemble them.
The Greek temples and Renaissance palaces that house public art collections suggest secular values, but not religious beliefs. Museums are considered secular institutions, where “secular truth became the authoritative truth.” All secular places have rituality behind their purpose. The purpose or focus of every museum is to have the viewer enlightened, by giving spiritual or intellectual insight. Depending on the museum, and its visitor, this may or may not always be met. When speaking of rituality at museums, its the visitors who enact the ritual or routine and the museum itself serves stage to the ritual. In churches or temples, one is expected to behave in a certain manner just as you are in a museum, quiet and respectful. In the Hirshhorn museum, located in Washington, D.C., they provide a sign that is held up and displays the do’s and don'ts of ritual activity. Carol also examines the term Liminality, which represents a stage in a ritual where the participant is in between stages required to complete the ritual. Using this term in relation to museums, it can be understood by the experience of a guest walking through the museum. Being quiet and respectful could be seen as the ritual, but in between these actions, when observing art, the individual could transcend these actions and attain liminality by personally experiencing art before returning back to...

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