HomeArticlesThe Case for Museums | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios The Case for Museums | The Art Assignment | PBS Digital Studios By Frank Lundy September 15, 2019 Articles, Blog 86 Comments Tags:alexandria, art, art museums, cabinets of curiosities, conservation, Contemporary Art, cultural heritage, french revolution, georges didi-huberman, john green, medicis, Modern Art, museion, museum collections, museums, nabonidus, national museum, neoclassical, PBS, pbs digital studios, provenance, public funding, pyramids, sarah urist green, the art assignment, the louvre, theartassignment, wunderkammers Related Posts Comparing universities vs. liberal arts colleges We Draw Cartoon Characters FROM MEMORY NMPBS ¡COLORES!: Gustave Baumann About Author admin 86 Comments Ashley Raujol March 1, 2018 I adore this series! Reply Breno Henrique March 1, 2018 This channel inspired me to go to a museum in the first place and the reason for me to go again and again a third time with friends without they changing the expositions it's because it made me see works from artistis from Brazil and more importantly from the region where i live. And made in America content being so much of i watch ,see and listen see works of people that are literally closer to my experience in life makes especial. Reply Estrella Casias March 1, 2018 This day was good and now it's even better Reply lorenabpv March 1, 2018 my local museum is at 2:42! i love to go there to get the full effect of glass stands and a huge room with a continuous view of art through time Reply Hanna Würfel March 1, 2018 BRAINSCOOP !! 😁😁 Reply Tete Recinos March 1, 2018 This is seriously my favorite newly discovered channel. Any chance we can get a case for photography/x photographer? Reply Sarah Robbins March 1, 2018 Who is the one museum hater? How can you not like them?? Reply MrAdmiralfreak March 1, 2018 Proud of St. Petersburg's Hermitage on the preview and 0:42. Thanks for appreciation 🙂 Reply Michael Donovan March 1, 2018 I like the picture of the people making an oath to the IPad. Or is it an IPod? At 7:16. Reply Stephen Persing March 1, 2018 How timely to drop this episode the day the Met's new admissions policy starts. Good job. Reply Hannah Marie March 1, 2018 This channel and the brainscoop inspired me to pursue a career in museum collections! Thanks for all you do! Reply Topi Viljamaa March 1, 2018 I've been frustrated by opinions of museums – particularly those of the natural history persuasion – and how unethical the collection of the…collection is more than once. So far, I've done only an okay job of defending them. But now I've got help: this video.Thanks, Art Assignment, for making the thing I forgot I needed! Reply Sofía JG March 1, 2018 Awesome video as always!! I love how friendly your videos are!I've always been drawn to museums, and it is one of my dreams to work on a art museum someday… Do you have any recomendations? Reply Hej Andreas March 1, 2018 Yay for democratisation of culture ! Reply Chae Howard March 1, 2018 You have warmed the heart of this student of museum studies. Reply Isla March 1, 2018 Once went to a modern art museum on a 2nd or 3rd date in Glasgow. I didnt think to check which special exhibitions were on on this day, I just assumed it’d be fine- how wrong I was. 20ft projections of about 5 or 6 women in all black leather gimp suits around a man….. Extremely awkward, which you can view and hear the audio from multiple sections of the museum. Needless to say, my date never wants to go back to a modern art museum! Reply Elina Terava March 1, 2018 Thank you. Now I can direct people to this video, instead of going on my usual rant. Reply Ivan Lupi March 1, 2018 I am glad you included Te Papa Tongarewa. Reply Maria Olzoeva March 2, 2018 OMG HERMITAGE MY 2ND FAVOURITE BUILDING MY CITY damn i just was there today!! thank you! Reply Ambrose Reed March 2, 2018 Inspiring! Reply Margaret Moon March 2, 2018 So good. I kept pausing it to drink in the images and read the locations. Excellent as always. Reply Liz M March 2, 2018 Museums are the mainstay of any visit I make to any city in the world. I became nostalgic for the museums you featured where I had been before, and I was filled with longing for the museums featured that I had not yet seen. Hopefully I will get to all of them! Reply VdevoV March 2, 2018 The Musée de l’Orangerie, in Paris, tops my list. So impactful. Everything is great there, but it’s top floor is wonderful, just with how they not only present Monet’s paintings in oval shaped rooms, but in how they make sure you can’t see the art until you are in the room itself. A proper emotional experience. One which brought my wife to tears. Highly recommended. Reply Larryisaway March 2, 2018 I like the idea of decontextualizing and recontextualizing the pieces in a museum. That was a really interesting point. Thanks for the video. Reply red March 2, 2018 Detroit Industry by Diego Rivera! I’m going to see it in the flesh at the Detroit Institute of Art soon! and other stuff too of course! yay Reply Burkley Page March 2, 2018 I have been loving the videos lately! Though I have a question/criticism. I, being a photo major, would love to see more photography in the art assignment! People like Jacques henri lartigue or Keith carter or William eggleston! I'm a photo major and photo nerd so I am biased. But I would love some "case for" of photographers not well received. Just my 2 cents though. I'm a photo history nerd and would love other people to realize how exciting it can be! Reply Krista Wright March 2, 2018 The best art channel on youtube. Thank you for continuing to make videos! Reply Rose Liu March 2, 2018 This video just made my day! I'd been waiting for your new video! Reply Marvin-Berfo Günyel March 2, 2018 What a fantastic episode. I'll always love museums and in this way the case will never be closed. Thanks, for bringing me closer to knowing why I love them. 😉👌 Reply Warren Gray March 2, 2018 Hey Sarah! I just wanted to point out that while some museums may have returned colonial loot to its rightful owners the majority hasn't. It's a part of the 'collection craze' of the 19th and early 20th century where the colonising powers would try to accumulate as many 'exotic curiosities' as possible. Often through stealing or manipulating their rightful owners to surrender them. Take the case of the Benin bronzes. The British burned the city of Benin down after the King of Benin had refused to trade with them. They took everything, including the bronzes which to the people of Benin are a way, in fact THE way of documenting their history and culture. Often these bronzes were highly personal because whenever someone died they'd put their likeness on a bronze plate to remember and celebrate them. The British took these and sold them to all the colonial loot crazy museums and individuals in Europe and overseas where they remain today. The Museum für Völkerkunde in Hamburg (which has a very rich colonial history) still has a lot of them. Western museums then classify their stolen goods as "primitive art" for white people to marvel at and, as I pointed earlier, in most cases refuse to return them. Most of the Benin bronzes are still locked away in Western museums. And sometimes these things aren't even on display but vanished somewhere in the archives and STILL museums refuse to let them go. And as to the question of "safe-keeping" that's also a deeply racist thing, assuming that the countries of origin are less capable of keeping these objects safe and in good shape than Western museums. This mindset is especially ironic since a lot of colonial loot fell victim to the wars that ravaged Europe and/or for instance in the case of the Hamburg collection, a bad case of asbestos in the archives..So while I do agree that museums are good and should continue existing, I think that they should also be critical of their collections and return any and all stolen items to their countries of origin. Reply Amy Or Not March 2, 2018 I LOVE Museums! I visit as many as I can wherever I travel to. ❤️ My favourite so far are the Reina Sofia in Madrid, the British Museum, the museum of modern art in Edinburgh and the portrait gallery there too. Also the Vatican museums, the national gallery and the Tate museums in London… and if it counted as a museum then the Venice biennale, specifically the giardini part. 😀 Reply Saoirse Ryan March 2, 2018 Haha I love the Emily Graslie picture Reply Clarissa Higginbotham March 2, 2018 I loved museums. My dad had made that an important part of growing up. By 6th grade I had been to over 80 different museums. So hooray for museum. Reply Luisa Ferreira Gusi March 2, 2018 My Master’s is about performance art and museology! Could you recommend some articles/books/videos/etc in the museum’s history and classifications in the description? Thank you! Reply vasalem March 2, 2018 as long as the art being demanded was stolen and the country is going to be returned is safe and will be safe for the foreseeable future then I have no problem. Reply Dorrit March 2, 2018 Are we not dying/ to bury ourselves in museums? Reply Patrick Staight March 2, 2018 "Art without context is trash the way food becomes trash when you put it in the sink." -Bennett FoddyIt is the job of the museum curator to preserve as much context as possible in the space available.For me, the most enjoyable part of a museum is talking about the objects with other patrons. Reply Amor Sciendi March 2, 2018 Great video. I've been thinking a lot about this myself and how the story of how the artifacts came to a certain location is a part of the artifact's story. Consequently, you can learn a lot about the history of the world and interactions between geographic areas just by looking at those horses in St. Mark's square you showed. Reply SeraX2 March 2, 2018 Especially considering the interesting point made about the changes in contextualization museums give these objects, I'm curious how people think the City Museum in St. Louis fits into this. It's not a conventional museum, by any means, I'm not even sure if really counts as a museum, but the way it revitalizes what would otherwise be trash and waste into not only art but art the public can scramble in and hang upside-down on might be worth bringing up. At the very least, all my art teachers didn't have to try very hard to explain to administration why a field trip there was relevant to whatever art class they wanted to get out of the building (not as easy as taking everyone to the SLAM though, since that's free and right by the zoo). Reply jesse lou March 2, 2018 I wish more people understood that museums aren't just storage facilities that you can visit. Museums (most of us anyway) are very ACTIVE in our communities. We work with our local schools, libraries, and other organizations to create/host educational programs. We help people do research (whether it's genealogical research or research for a book or just curiosity). We're very involved, there's always an upcoming event to work on. This is true even for museums in small towns and rural areas (like the one I work at). I always encourage people to look up your local museum. Even if it's small and doesn't seem like much on the outside, there's surely a wealth of information in there. We have a sort of unofficial motto at the museum I work for. "Every place has a story. We aim to preserve it and share it." Reply Laura Carías March 2, 2018 The Art Assignment is the very best Reply Maddie March 2, 2018 currently studying Fine Art in Norwich, UK and writing an essay titled "Boring Art, Art That Is Boring and Art Birthed From Boredom"- would love to hear opinions on these topics! Reply AllegrettoATempo March 2, 2018 I was unaware we needed to make a case for museums? I guess it was dumb of me to assume that everyone values the public dissemination of awesome stuff. Reply Crushi! .Music, Art & Love. March 2, 2018 Your lectures, videos, presentation, information and care for art speak through your videos. It's not that you aren't making fantastic, mind altertering videos, it's that Youtube is inundated with videos upwards of millions and millions more on the way that take people time to sift, scrub, digest and admire and hate, through. You have to go to major networks to sell your ideas. Youtube is a space for experimental artwork, confessions and projects. You projects are much too great for youtube. They're scholarly and educational… and ain't nobody getting an education from youtube. Reply Crushi! .Music, Art & Love. March 2, 2018 There is no ownership. It's just stuff. There are more important things. Beings. All of them. Everything else is residual. Reply Grace Brown March 2, 2018 I don't know why but I found the "privileged" label really funny. Reply Mikko Saarinen March 2, 2018 Torilla tavataan :b Reply Oliver Bollmann March 2, 2018 "Lots… and lots… and lots… of neoclassical museums." 😉 A nice exploration! I especially love the emphasis on how museums can allow us to reconsider our past to gain perspectives on what it means to be a human being… that's a really provocative thought. It is making me wonder how museums might better facilitate such reflections, as I'm guessing many do not have that in mind when they visit. I also like the notion that re-visiting a museum can lead us to see new art, even if there is no new art there — seeing something newly is like seeing something new. We read/watch stories multiple times and get new things out of it each time, why should this type of art be any different? I've never heavily considered visiting museums multiple times, but now I will. 🙂 Thank you for another great episode! Reply sbrichcreek March 3, 2018 Well said. Thank you for speaking from this point of view. Reply ARTiculations March 3, 2018 Yesss I do really want to second your point at 7:43 – museums are definitely not impenetrable fortresses. Many of the gallery guides at our museum do not have art or museum backgrounds – yet many have been volunteering and shaping visitors experiences for decades. They have directly sat in meeting with curators and directors, become a part of museum boards, sat on endowment committees and influenced new collection purchases. Reply Erin Gallagher March 3, 2018 I'm in school for archives and records management, and nearly all of these points are applicable for archives as well! Great video! Reply Andy Tang March 3, 2018 Excellent video!! What is the background music you use here? Reply ranot2 March 3, 2018 The case for museums is particularly interesting considering you're in Indianapolis, home of Newfields, where they're looking at the role of a museum in a broader way. Thanks for making this! Reply direction maker March 3, 2018 Hello Mam Sorry for irrelevant question here but can you help me with this error HOST = gethostbyname(gethostname()) is not define error in packet sniffer code python, i'm doing this code from your tutorials on packet sniffer thanks reply as soon as possible Reply DafniGabriella March 3, 2018 I am a Conservator of Antiquities from Greece and that was a great video! I enjoyed it very much! Well done! 😀 Reply firewordsparkler March 4, 2018 This was beautiful. I feel so privileged to have visited so many of the museums featured in this, and I can't wait to visit so many more. Reply Keira Koch March 4, 2018 Another great video! As an Indigenous Studies and Public history double major, I just need videos like these to remind me what all the stress and hard work is for. Bravo!I Reply Julia Nyberg March 5, 2018 I really appreciate your work Reply Jessica Smith March 6, 2018 Thanks for this thoughtful video. My husband and I visited the Art Institute of Chicago for the first time yesterday. We toured the American and Impressionist sections and were bowled over by many of the works. I was surprised to find that I was more drawn to Renoir than Monet. I felt that "transcendence" you mentioned when I saw the Chagall window. I had thought, from seeing photos, that it might glow and was delighted to see that, even on a cloudy day, it did glow. I am so thankful for museums. My family are members of the IMA (Newfields) and visit it often. Taking a walk on the grounds is a favorite weekend activity for my husband and I. Here is my thumbs up for this video since my like button is not appearing today. Reply capsfox March 9, 2018 I really liked this video! It makes me want to go check out my local museums again and think about them a bit differently. It's a bit sad that I haven't been to most of these places… but maybe some day! Reply Efosa Osaghae March 14, 2018 Do 'The case for Basquiat" please! Reply MJE March 21, 2018 Museums protect and preserve? How naive are some of you? Here's why museums exist… TO MAKE MONEY! I'll take a graduating university art student's senior exhibit over a pompous, arrogant, self-indulgent, self-centered museum exhibit any day! Reply Leandra Luna March 23, 2018 First: Yay Emily! Second: I'm curious to as why you didn't share your experience as a curator? Reply holophrasm March 23, 2018 I would love a video on aboriginal art! Reply liloddbit April 6, 2018 Thank you, Sarah! Every video you post speaks to my heart, educates me with awesome interesting things, opens my mind to knew ways of thinking. I'm so grateful for The Art Assignment! Now I'm off to research all the museums in my area, especially those that are toddler friendly (I have a two year old)! Thank you! Reply Andrew W April 7, 2018 Speaking of museums, I’d love to see you do an episode with Emily Graslie! She’s an artist by training and just generally great! Reply HAN2929 April 13, 2018 2:57 "Hauuu we display things…" Eduard Hau on the caption I see what you did there. Reply Smoke A Shit Cigar April 18, 2018 I bet this channel will never make a case for the art of GG Allin. Reply Christopher Jason May 4, 2018 Excellent explanation to modern history and to its public display. Reply Rea May 12, 2018 Wow! I can't believe my tiny local museum (the maritime museum) made it here. I audibly gasped. Reply Noelle Matteson May 30, 2018 No top comments about Erik Killmonger?! Reply Nat August 11, 2018 Bilbao's Guggenheim is ship shaped in reference of the industrial past of Bilbao. Reply potbotra August 12, 2018 museums are also a part of a billion dollar industry funded by arms and oil money…. the important work that cultural workers do should not be conflated with the work that museums do for their wealthy patrons. the fact is that museums are part of an industry like any other. this is of course not to say don't go to museums, you can't contemplate 'purely' etc but to resist romanticizing and instead insist on complexity and contradictions of our current art industry, i promise you, it keeps you nimble. Reply Margony August 20, 2018 This is so good! I recently visited the Guggenheim museum in Venice when I was there on holiday, and it was incredible. I have always found out a lot about myself when going to museums. It's like digging into history books but that history book is you. Reply Maria September 25, 2018 Simply. I think you'd be generally shocked if you knew the number of fraudulent artefacts that came from the time of antiquity, especially in the form of bronze bust. Reply the Catholic plague raven October 9, 2018 I work at a living history museum and I would like to say this is head on. Reply NikiArrowsmith November 17, 2018 Oh my God these videos are so fast they're unwatchable. I have to keep reminding to examine the pictures and captions. Slow down! Reply A CG November 22, 2018 The Case for Peggy Guggenheim? Reply BookishLish November 26, 2018 Loved seeing Diego Rivera’s mural at the DIA (my local art institute) included in this! I think they do a wonderful job in how they present their pieces, and they have so many varied collections that span from ancient history to modern day, many touching on social issues and inequality. For example, they have an entire section of their colonial art exhibit that features black painters of the time and their artwork, people who are subject to erasure most of the time. Reply Ben Zangri December 27, 2018 Museums in NYC Moma: at least it has some good art Guggenheim: 90% of the stuff is not considered art . The natural history Museum: got a movie based off of it that’s pretty cool . The Cooper Hewitt: more people talk about those go there it’s free . The Met: B I G and it has a good art . Reply J.T. February 25, 2019 Can we get a case for Basquiat? Reply Andy Eh April 26, 2019 i love this i work as an intern at the folk art museum in manhattan and it’s really given me a deeper understanding of not just art and artists but the staff and people that have to work as one and make sure the museum experience is as perfect as possible Reply Dorothy Pinotti June 1, 2019 Thank all that was in this art time's..! God'!!!Love's all An I do too !!An I Love TheArt Assignment. This is what I Love. THANK.YOU SoSo. MUCH!..MS..PINOTTI Reply Tyron Ephyr LaDeian June 19, 2019 Can I just say, this video was interesting, but the pace was too fast, with too much being said, too few and unmarked breaks between sentences, and the shots being changed too quickly, so it was difficult to concentrate. I found myself zoning out and having to backtrack multiple times. Reply Rosa maria Rodriguez colon July 10, 2019 Goid nite Reply scorpioninpink July 31, 2019 Unfortunately we do not have enough Museums in The Philippines. Reply Add a Comment Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment:*Name:* Email Address:* Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.