I have very much enjoyed taking classes in art history. They are a wonderful way to learn about both topics-art and history. Integral to these classes are visiting museums and seeing art works virtually when that works best. Clearly, museum’s holdings offer the material for these classes. A class that I took on museums themselves also examined the role of the museum in society; it can be complex as is also shown in this well written book on why museums matter.
The author is connected to the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. He offers a well thought out look at his topic. Weiss notes the important role that museums have played in society, in part, because they make something accessible to not only those who are very wealthy. He also examines some of the current issues that museums are facing. These are financial and at times ethical.
Readers will find chapters on the antecedents of the art museum, a look at America and museums and, finally, a look at evolving and preserving in order to keep these institutions vital. Weiss is an accessible writer and one does not need previous background to engage with this title. I recommend it.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Yale University Press for this title. All opinions are my own.
Pub date: 29 November 2022