Essay on Should Art Museums Be Democratized?

1567 Words Jan 14th, 2013 7 Pages
The art museum is a place that collects and preserves very valuable and profound pieces of art created by some of the most influential artists of all time. Not everyone can understand the emotions and profound ideas that are expressed in old works of art. Only a fraction of all people can really appreciate a fine work of art and understand its true meaning. Many people that go to the art museum do not belong. They do not hold the higher level of education needed to look at a painting and see its full potential. I do not think the people of art museums should put in the effort to democratize these institutions mainly because you cannot train people to enjoy art, because education of art is not valued, and because the elitism of the art …show more content…
Their research shows that the highly educated visitors knew very much about the art inside the museums before hand. They knew more names of artists, art styles, and art schools than any other group. They did not need brochures or handouts and they stayed for long periods of time. The next group they studied was the middle class visitors. They were eager to learn from the guides and brochures. Even though they were not as sophisticated as the upper class, they wanted to learn more about art. The least educated visitors found the art museum experience unsettling. The serious atmosphere intimidated them, they knew almost nothing about the works of art, and they had trouble understanding the labels and directions. They were also scared to ask questions because they did not want to expose their lack of knowledge. Unlike the highly educated visitors who came alone or in pairs, the least educated visitors were more comfortable to come in big groups and they did not spend as much time there. The lower class should not come to the museum in the first place because they can’t relate to the works, they don’t have the knowledge to comprehend them, and they felt uncomfortable. They are better off going to a folklore museum where the handicrafts include skills and refinements they could appreciate (Zolberg 58).
In order to help the less educated visitors appreciate the art museums would need to hire many educators to get the job…

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