Friday, December 23, 2005

Thinking about ethics in Indiana Museums

All over the news as of late, museums practices are being called into question. The most popular these days is of course the Getty. But as 2005 winds down, I think of a certain exhibition at the MFA Boston, Krens and the Gugg, all the way down to certain museums charging outlandish admission fees to their educational programs.

I thought this might be a good time to revisit what our local institutions have done over the past 12 months as a point to start discussion.

- The Lord of the Rings Exhibit at the Indiana State Museum. Huh?
- John Cougar Mellencamp at the Herron School of Art. I could understand this at the State Museum, maybe, but at a contemporary art school? Someone's going after the big $$$...
- finally, should a museum that focuses on a particular culture/ethnicity actually employ people from that particular culture/ethnicity? I don't want to name names but I'll give you a hint - I'm not talking about the Museum for the White People that came and Settled in the Land We Now Call America.

I'm not even sure if I'm right about any of the above. It just seems we often get so excited here in our little town that anything is going on at all and we fail to question if it even should. This is an open thread.

4 Responses to “Thinking about ethics in Indiana Museums”

Anonymous said...
December 23, 2005 at 8:14 PM

I'm not what you would call a fan of Mellancamp by any means, but famous musicians and their children are often automatically given noteriety at their first attempts at making art. At least this way Herron gets the chance to raise some money. Someone like Mellancamp will also draw new viewers into the gallery. While I wouldn't choose him if I were in charge of a gallery, I can see why they did-publicity and money.

Anonymous said...
December 23, 2005 at 9:42 PM

Ethnic museums should attempt to have a more substantial connection to a community. One must ask isn't it a little strange to have a museum of western art in Indiana?

Redvelvetto said...
December 27, 2005 at 7:52 PM

Nothing has to make sense here because the people who should be patronizing our arts community are not. So these groups have these little sideshows to draw people in. Everyone has to do it, on a smaller scale all gallerys here, what is free wine and food about? What are themed shows about? How come here there are not any gallerys that specialize in a certain type of art, just look at Minneapolis or Chicago gallerys. The crowds know what to expect from the gallerys there but here all the gallerys are all over the place or show the same people over and over. Indianapolis needs to quit their circus sideshow strategys, research what other successful cities are doing, figure out why they are successful and then do it.

Christopher said...
December 27, 2005 at 11:27 PM

God bless ya' Redvelvetto. I hope you made it a few posts down regarding my comments to the gallery scene in Indy. Your input is very much appreciated.

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