Analysis of Judith H. Dobrzynski´s High Culture Goes Hands- On

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Judith H. Dobrzynski’s article, “High Culture Goes Hands-On,” suggests that the museums current trend of providing visitors with “an experience” threatens the current model of providing “solace and inspiration” (Dobrzynski 3). However, I disagree with this conclusion. Interactive experiences and contemplative approaches can co-exist just so long as museums adjust in response to how our ever-evolving culture receives it. Transitioning from museums’ elitist paradigm is critical to creating a more accessible community-conscious design. Dobrzynski, on the other hand, views these differences as “shedding the very characteristics that made [art museums] so special” (1), a pessimistic sentiment that shows her contempt towards development.

Before we can assess the roles of a museum, what exactly is the institution? Didier Maleuvre explains museums as, “devoted to the protection, preservation, exhibition, and furtherance of what a community agrees to identify as works of art” (Maleuvre 9). As we develop new modes of interaction and technological advancements, are museums that provide interactive experiences and art works not included in this explanation? I certainly do not think so. Audience engagement should not be feared but promoted; the trouble, though, is finding the right balance. Maleuvre also believes that it was the museum’s responsibility to challenge the status quo, and its own cultural identity, which, provides further cause for change as museums have moved away from

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