Frames of References – Art Museums as Unique Visual Media
AbstractThe age old activity of collecting arts is not intrinsically dependent on the art museum as separate architectural type. How was the art museum as an independent structure conceptualized and why? What was the idea behind that concept? Was it created as a medium consciously and what kind of messages was it supposed to deliver? What kind of unique “textual” overlaps the various disciplines of archaeology, art history, politics, literature, science and architecture created in order to produce what we today recognize as art museum space? This study focuses on the crucial historical moments of the late 17th century when such questions were posed for the first time within the classical discourse of the French architectural theory which followed the consolidation of French absolutism and the foundation of the Royal academies of arts and sciences, until the mid 19th century when the answers to those questions were finally exemplified in built architecture. The study gives a comprehensive overview of the cultural context art museums as public institutions emerged from and became new spatial models for collective cultivation.
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