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The Louvre Effect

Stara, Alexandra (2015) The Louvre Effect. In: Kristoffer, Arvidsson, (ed.) Skiascope 7: Art, Museum, Architecture. Gothenburg, Sweden : Gothenburg Museum of Art. pp. 50-87. (Skiascope: Annual Publication of the Gothenburg Museum of Art) ISBN 9789187968921

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Abstract

This is the Louvre effect. A combination of characteristics and choices that render this Methuselah of an institution perpetually desirable to the masses, in an age craving novelty and difference almost above all else. However, this popularity isn’t just the result of the Louvre’s unique place in history or its massive and spectacular collections, but of the way it uses them. The presence of a distinct and catchy intellectual agenda plays a major role, in this case being the mission to cultivate the global populace in the old fashioned manner of western art historical narratives – because the pieces may be global but ‘chronology’ or the idea of a universal ‘humankind’ are distinctly western concepts. This evocation of the Enlightenment both as historical legacy and enduring ideal serves the role of a strong and easily identifiable ethos for the museum, which can then serve as a basis for forging partnerships at national and international level. Couched within the entertainment and leisure package that visitors have come to expect in their totalising museum experience nowadays, this provides an interesting alternative to the sheer brawn of Guggenheim Inc. for the 21st century art museum. There may be something here for institutions considering their own transformation, even if they don’t quite match the Louvre’s vital statistics or share its particular vision of the world.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Area: Architecture and the built environment
Art and design
History of art, architecture and design
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture > School of Architecture and Landscape
Depositing User: Alexandra Stara
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2015 14:25
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2015 14:25
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/32856

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