Under Discussion - The Encyclopedic Museum Donatien Grau

Format:
Paperback / softback
Publication date:
08 Jun 2021
ISBN:
9781606067192
Imprint:
Getty Publications
Dimensions:
256 pages:

Categories:

Over the last two decades, the encyclopedic museum has been criticized and praised, constantly discussed, and often in the news. Encyclopedic museums are a phenomenon of Europe and the United States, and their locations and mostly Eurocentric collections have in more recent years drawn attention to what many see as bias. Debates on provenance in general, cultural origins, and restitutions of African heritage have exerted pressure on encyclopedic museums, and indeed on all matter of museums. Is there still a place for an institution dedicated to gathering, preserving, and showcasing all the world's cultures? Donatien Grau's conversations with international arts officials, museum leaders, artists, architects, and journalists go beyond the history of the encyclopedic format and the last decades' issues that have burdened existing institutions. Are encyclopedic museums still relevant? What can they contribute when the Internet now seems to offer the greater encyclopedia? How important is it for us to have in-person access to objects from all over the world that can directly articulate something to us about humanity? The fresh ideas and nuances of new voices on the core principles important to museums in Dakar, Abu Dhabi, and Mumbai complement some of the world's arts leaders from European and American institutions-resulting in some revealing and unexpected answers. Every interviewee offers differing views, making for exciting, stimulating reading.

Donatien Grau is head of contemporary programs at the Musee d'Orsay, Paris. He is the author of Plato in L.A. (Getty, 2018).