What’s an Art Museum’s Purpose?

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles has been undergoing some drama as former Chief Curator Paul Schimmel was pushed out. The underlying drama, as the LA Times details, comes from the rising disconnect between understanding and education of visual art, and it’s purpose in modern American culture. Should art museum’s cater to a shallow, broad audience or an intellectually obsessed, narrow audience? Is museum traffic more important than content or vice versa? These questions and more populate the debate, but the LA Times imagines a balance stating, “A great museum — and a great museum director — must find the proper balance between scholarly integrity and accessible, enticing exhibits that lure paying, shopping art lovers. Furthermore, a thoughtful, highbrow exhibition need not be boring any more than a pop-culture show must be intellectually shallow.”

Still curious?


One response to “What’s an Art Museum’s Purpose?

  1. MOCA! I used to get to go to all the Openings of exhibits there. I saw some really great shows. I no longer live in LA but I hope that MOCA stays funky and relevant. My favorite show was Warhol, which is pretty main stream, and one of the most enjoyable was some perverted artist, whose name I can’t recall. I used to work their part time when there was fiming beeing done. Memories thanks!

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