museum

Saving Art for the Nation: 2003 Centenary Conference of the National Art Collections Fund

Author(s)  
Art Fund
Publisher  
London, NACF
2004

‘Saving Art for the Nation’ is a compilation of addresses, discussions and case studies from the 2003 Centenary Conference of the National Art Collections Fund; contributing voices include Sir Nicolas Serota (Tate London), Sir Timothy Clifford (National Galleries Scotland), Dr David Fleming (National Museum Liverpool) and a variety of museum professionals and interested parties. The most significant concern of the conference was to instigate ongoing collecting, after all, ‘a closed collection is a dead collection,’ especially focusing on the acquisition of contemporary art and international art—a weak point among many of the national collections. In fact, a growing appreciation for ‘global culture’ is present among many of the conference addresses. This is evidenced not only by relaxing attempts to keep pieces of heritage within the UK but also encouraging its display in other parts of the world and in new contexts. The conference also considered the vestiges of patriotism and heritage that surrounds national collections and encouraged institutions to challenge complacent notions of ‘Britishness’. These sentiments ultimately shifted the institutional responsibility towards its public audience and the ways that a collection should express the identity of a community.

Shelby Lakins

Creative Enterprise: Contemporary Art Between Museum and Marketplace

Author(s)  
Buskirk, Martha
Publisher  
The Continuum Int. Publishing Group, NY
2012

Buskirk examines the globalised contemporary art world of the twenty-first century and describes it as a veritable arts industry. The role of the artist and the curator has become professionalised, she suggests. Art production is challenged by its own ‘corrosive success,’ and it is difficult she explains, to distinguish the marketing and promotion, which can establish artists as brands, from the genuinely radical or subversive practices. Despite its commercial success, Buskirk identifies the contradiction when art still claims to be exceptional. Closely scrutinising art institutions reveals their expanded role as entertainer and spectacle-maker that complicates its dedication to education. She describes the generative practice of these institutions as ‘museum production’ as they increasingly encourage artists to create art within the walls of the museum. This may be achieved by a variety of practices; producing exhibitions, re-imagining collection displays, or producing a commissioned artwork for display. Using numerous examples of artworks, installations, exhibitions and spectacles, Buskirk illuminates the blurring lines between established art roles and practices. She not only explores trends of contemporary curating, collecting, and creative practices, but also offers a critical perspective and places it within historical context.

Shelby Lakins

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