For Duncan and Wallach the main critical point of museums is their Their panache was a show of the stand point of an ideological power. Duncan [1] Carol Duncan and Alan Wallach, “The Universal Survey Museum”, ed. Carol Duncan: Maybe Feminism Has Just Begun. Diary of Once outside that model, the relevance of social and ideological questions couldn’t be ignored. PDF | On Dec 1, , Carol Duncan and others published The Universal Survey DUNCAN AND WALLACH, THE UNIVERSAL SURVEY take up political positions on social issues that affect the communities they serve .

Author: Mojind Faell
Country: South Africa
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Education
Published (Last): 27 March 2005
Pages: 185
PDF File Size: 20.50 Mb
ePub File Size: 18.22 Mb
ISBN: 308-4-24934-189-2
Downloads: 74793
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Fegal

After a recent personal visit to Louvre and the surrounding museum-city-state, it felt appropriate to tell the story of the emergence of museums and approach this history with a critical eye. For Duncan and Wallach the main critical point of museums is their ideological stance [ 1 ].

They point out that, for past societies wal,ach places of spectacle that held together the beliefs and values of a society were used to be the temples and cathedrals. Because these places were affirmation of the power and social authority of certain classes, they were lavishly constructed and adorned.

Their panache was a show of the stand point of an ideological power. In ideolovical context museums become ritualistic locations, sacred locations of art in which visitors are expected to understand, internalize and exalt the values embedded in the shown works.

Although different types of museums have emerged in the last few centuries to face the need of different sociological contexts, the universal survey museums survive as the sole heir of the classical tradition, almost to the point that they define what civilization is.


The roots of universal survey museums are traced back to the 18th century when the majority of the art were in the hands of the royalties. Private showings of royal owned art were done in town houses or villas but after the French Revolution the political climate changed to the point that these private aristocratic collections were criticized [ 2 ]. Even before French revolution though, many royal collections were being showcased in public locations such as The Glytothek in Munich, Viennese Royal Collection in Vienna, the Dresden Gallery and Uffizi of the Medicis.

Yet the establishment of Louvre seems to have changed museum history.

The Louvre was aimed to communicate not the majesty of a royalty or King, but the nation. Yet paradoxically, this idea of celebrating the nation was not of the whole nation; just the bourgeois and the educated few.

After the revolution though, the path of Louvre became even more clear. Then suddenly the universal survey museum also had a mission. It was to be accessible to everyone, it was to be a national monument and it was to nourish the fine tastes of the society and educate them in the ways of art, aesthetics and civilization.

Thus the transformation from royal gallery to public art museum has begun. The transformation was also one of the physical. The way the artworks were arranged also had to be changed.

Museum as a Ritualist Construct

The works now needed to be arranged by the ideas of the enlightenment, in a fashion that creates a meta narrative about the state and the people vs the king and the royalty. This also enabled or hastened the birth of an art history discipline, which in turn resulted in a race to possess art from the key moments of history. For rest of the Europe, of course, the universal museum was a threat as much as the French Revolution.


Duncan and Wallach elaborate on the experience Louvre offers to its visitors from its main entrance pavilion to the formation of galleries. This emphasis is not unjust since Louvre serves as the template for the original universal survey gallery. Another special attention was given to the architectural adornments of Louvre, especially to the ceiling paintings since their history is also a history of political power in the state.

Museum as a Ritualist Construct « Doxography ()

To conclude this short history of universal museums, one then have to move onto America to rediscover this ritualistic space called the universal survey museum. The idea of such a museum in America was a mixture of post-Civil War ideologies, as well as issue of national pride.

As United States emerged as a nation-state, its claim on the western civilization became also apparent. Yet America had the distinct disadvantage of joining the race late, as many of the relics of traditional western civilization had already found their places in Europe this seems to be the apparent reason why New York would later become a global center for modern art.

The result was the Metropolitan. You must be logged in to post a comment. Museum as a Ritualist Construct 11th December Museum duncn a Ritualist Construct. Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must be logged in to post a comment.

My main field of study is video game studies and interactive literature. Please check the main site for more.