The Museologist

What’s your personal (museum) economy?

Posted in General by adevereux on February 2, 2010

In the most recent issue of the Austin-based contemporary art e-jounal … might be good, the letter from the editor asks readers: what is your personal economy? Geared towards artists, the question yielded answers that revealed how artists make ends meet and the (extra) measures they take to keep art a part of their lives, as a career or otherwise.

This inspired me to ask a similar question of museum-goers: what is your personal museum economy?  In other words, how, and to what degree, do museums make their way into the economies of your everyday lives?  More specifically, how much would you spend on admission to an exhibition? If admission is optional or you can choose your own price (ie the MET), what do you pay? How far would you travel to see an exhibition?  Do you save a portion of your spending money for visits to museums, galleries, or art shows?

Part of the motivation in asking this is to question how much the overlap of museum-going and personal economies shapes our image of museums and how we see ourselves in them.  A museum today might be considered by some a center of learning, but to others a major player in the tourist industry.  Visitors to museums may feel enlightened and stimulated by the materials on display, or perhaps they gain a sense of cultural consumerism.  Of course, these are all the most extreme possibilities, but where does the average museum-goer fall within the spectrum?

…might be good link:


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