Monday, March 15, 2010

Antiquities and museums: Looking to the future

I noticed this panel at the 98th College Art Association (CAA) in Chicago:
Looking to the Future: Antiquities and the Art Museum
Saturday, February 13
Chair: Jenifer Neils, Case Western Reserve University and Johns Hopkins University
  • Is the Market in Antiquities Evolving toward Greater Care? Changing Museum Standards and Their Legal Background: Patty Gerstenblith, DePaul Unviersity
  • "Due Diligence": Rationalizing Acquisition in the "Universal Museum": Irene Winter, Harvard University
  • The Shape of Things to Come: Developing Collections of Antiquities and Archaeological Materials in the Twenty-First Century: Timothy Rub, Philadelphia Museum of Art
  • The Future for Antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum: Karol Wight, J. Paul Getty Museum
  • Acropolis in Motion: Reflections on the New Acropolis Museum in Athens and Its Predecessors: Christina Papadimitriou, Princeton University
Tom Mullaney has commented on Rub's presentation.
He distanced himself from Cuno’s defense of the universal museum as the best repository (a minority view among museum directors) but also tiptoed away from archeologists’ claim that antiquities have little value independent of their archeological context, meaning resting in the ground at their original location.
It would have been interesting for Rub to have commented in more detail about how the Cleveland Museum of Art managed to acquire the antiquities that were returned to Italy while on his watch (see my earlier comments). Equally significant would have been Winter on Harvard's acquisition of the pot fragments.

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