Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

Exhibit Reorganization Tailors to Audience Interest

The Boston Museum of fine arts is revamping its gallery of the art of ancient Greece into “Homer and the Epics: Wine, Poets, and Performers in Ancient Greece,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Originally, the collection of ancient Greek art has been arranged chronologically and has been that way ever since. Now the museum has taken a step forward to present to collection on the themes in its title. Not only does this make sense in terms of representing Greek culture well, but gives visitors a better narration to follow. Bruce Altshuler, director of NYU’s museum studies program, comments in the article, “There’s a general feeling that personalized, narrative, thematic accounts are more accessible.”

Separate galleries are dedicated to Homer’s epics, Dionysus the Greek god of wine and theater, and to performance. Several of the galleries include interactive iPad experiences. If they know what’s good for them, they should include an interactive wine consumption experience in the Dionysus area! This is a great example of how a century-old collection has been reimagined for a generation that craves an experience. Christine Kondoleon, curator of Roman and Greek art at the museum, plans that these separations will also present a better opportunity to teach more comprehensive lessons rather than ambling alongside a literal timeline of artifacts.

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3 comments on “Exhibit Reorganization Tailors to Audience Interest

  1. hgenetos
    September 19, 2014

    This was really interesting. My family and I often skip over the Ancient Greece sections because we’ve been there, done that. We refer to Greece as the land of rock and rubble. And you start to feel that in museums sometimes when they just present it without much thought. This experience approach (especially the wine idea except Greek wine is terrible) is a refreshing twist. We would finally start stopping in the Ancient Greece sections if that were the case.

  2. dianalfreeberg
    September 19, 2014

    It’s very nice to see that another museum is upgrading the technology with the exhibits! Ideas like the interactive iPad can be so helpful for families like mine. Tours with human guides are wonderful, but not necessarily practical in a family with a ton of children and adults. I’m also in favor of the interactive wine portion. That would certainly encourage me to go through the collection.

  3. gormleykimberly
    September 21, 2014

    I love the idea of rearranging a permanent collection for new dialogue! The Freer and Sackler Galleries, where I’m interning this fall, have an amazing collection of asian artwork dating to the neolithic era. Its so beautiful and sophisticated, especially when you think of how…. drunk and dirty (?) most of Europe was before the Renaissance. I would LOVE to see an exhibit of artwork from different cultures, but from the same time period from any of the Smithsonian’s permanent collections. What a great way to find a new favorite and learn about art forms overlooked in most art history classes.

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