The museum and its public: scholarship or spectacle : panel discussion, 1986 Feb. 13

Archives of American Art , est. 1954
Archive repository
Active in Washington, D.C.

Size: Sound recording: 1 sound cassette.

Collection Summary: A panel discussion sponsored by the Archives of American Art at the Founders Luncheon and Museum Panel, held at the Beverly Hills Hotel, 1986 Feb. 13. The participants were Richard Koshalek, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art; Earl A. Powell, Director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Robert Middlekauff, Director of the Henry E. Huntington LIbrary and Art Gallery. Paul Karlstrom is moderator.

Moderator Paul Karlstrom introduces the topic and panelists; identifies differences between the three institutions, the appeal of blockbuster shows, and with references to an article by Mortibello of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, questions whether a museum can successfully balance scholarship and interpretation; the high cost of research and programming; and the shift to temporary exhibitions.

Koshalek discusses how MOCA continues to look for a balance as a new organization and their decision to start with temporary exhibits to build an audience and collection. Middlekauff discusses the Huntington as a research institution and its policiy to not loan books and papers and the impact then on hosting only temporary exhibits, and the parallel to problems universities face in funding programming. Powell discusses the benefits of blockbuster exhibits, the need to integrate scholarship, and the problems in corporate sponsorships.

Funding for the digital preservation of this recording was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.

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