The Metropolitan Museum Of Art Essay

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Positioned alongside Central Park in the heart of New York City, The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the largest and most influential art museums in the world. The Met houses an extensive collection of curated works that spans throughout various time periods and different cultures. The context of museum, especially one as influential as the Met, inherently predisposes its visitors to a certain set of understandings that subtly influence how they interpret and ultimately construct meanings about each individual object within the museum. Brent Plate in Religion, Art, and Visual Culture argues that “objects obtain different meanings in different locations and historical settings.”An object placed on display behind a glass case inside a museum would hold a vastly different meaning if it was put on sale by a street vendor, like the ones who set up their tables in close proximity to the Met. The different meanings that objects are able to obtain is attributed to the relationships that are established between the object itself and the environment that surrounds it. These relationships often involve the kind of audience that a museum attracts, where the work is exhibited, and how the exhibits within a museum is planned out. Museums subsequently have the ability to control how these relationships are established which influences the way a viewer is able to construct meaning. When a visitor observes an object on display at the Met, they instinctively construct a certain set of
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