Museum as framing device

6 June 2017

Museum as Framing Devices A museum is an institution devoted to the procurement, care, study and display of objects of lasting interest or valuel . Museums are not used for making profit or for economic purpose. They are intended to attract visitors, to admire and to educate people with important pieces of humanitys history. They contain permanent or temporary exhibitions of art all of around the world. However, museums “frame” or shapes our understanding of the works of art they exhibit. A long period is used to esign and organize the way that the collection is going to be exhibit.

The curatorial staff is in charge of how objects are displayed, how objects are labeled and described, how they are illuminated and in what parts of the museum are located. All these factors help contextualized the objects in different ways. In this essay I compare the way two different collections from two different museums are displayed and framed. There is no correct way when visiting a museum, whether you enter from the last room, your instincts are your basic guide when you tour a museum. However, museums can alter your instincts and draw their attention to specific and important works of arts.

Museum as framing device Essay Example

Your attention is drawn to that particular object with certain characteristics, in a room with unique design and illumination of a specific theme or topic. It is of extreme importance that a museum exhibition is well displayed in order to maintain the visitor attracted at all times to the objects viewed. The Denver Art Museum contains a number of collections from art all around the world. One that caught most my attention was the Modern and Contemporary Art collection. It includes a large number of pieces of 20th century works from a variety of different artist.

As soon you enter this collection, you can see at the far back of the room an incredible sculpture called “Quantum Cloud” made by Antony Gormley. This amazing sculpture is made of stainless steel and has the fgure of a human being. However, what caught my eyes attention besides the splendor of the piece was how the museum displayed the work. They exhibited it in the far back corner of the collection in a place were it was visible to the visitor from almost any point of the room. It was exhibit alone by itself with an illumination that created a shinning and attractive effect.

The same effect was used in works of arts such as West Side Jovenes made by Tony Ortega. It is located in a wall that can also be seen from many places of the room, it contains an illumination that helps bring the brightness of the painting to life. Both works of arts are very extensive; however, it is not because of the extension that they are located in alone in a wall but because of the importance that the museum gives to them. On the other hand, there are other less important works that can only be seen from one point of the room for example the Kim Dingle’s “Priss”.

All the works on the collection are labeled with the name, artist and material used for the elaboration of it, but only important pieces have a broad description of it. Some of this description include the artist’s quotes of what the he meant or intended on the building of the artwork, for example, in Quantum Cloud, Antony Gormley says “the whole project is to make the work from the inside rather than manipulate it from the outside”2. This is intended so that the viewer gets a deeper connection with the artist a piece that required admiration and analysis, so that the viewer could take his time.

The collection filtered the content so that the visitors were not inundated with tons of information and images. The Modern and Contemporary collection presented all of his pieces as works of arts rather than artifacts. The CU Art Museum is very small compared to the Denver Art Museum, however it contains a large amount of collection of all around the world. One that particularly caught my attention was the Wilton Jaffee Roman Coin collection. It is displayed on a glass chamber all organized chronologically by Empire.

Each coin was labeled with the year of its use, the name of the Emperor imprinted on the coin, the material it was made with, and a very small description of the coin itself. It had a very good illumination, so that the coin could be appreciated perfectly. The location of the collection was really particular. It was located on the last room near the exit door of the museum, so that before leaving the place you take a deep look of it. The display can be seen from every point of the oom. The collection had a large poster on the back that contained an introduction of the Roman Empire and the use of the coins by that time.

Also, the poster contained a large map of the Roman Empire and a coin with the face of Empress Julia Domma that could be the most important of the collection. This poster had several functions. First, it attracted your eyes toward the collection due to the colored map and the large coin image. Also, the poster captures the curiosity of the viewer with the storytelling technique and makes you have deeper connection with the display. The information provided in the description is very skimmed, so that it is easy to people of different levels of education to understand it.

The Roman Coin collection presented his exhibit as an artifact rather than art because it emphasize on the use of the coin rather than the art included on it. In conclusion, each museum uses a different method on “framing” or shaping our understanding of an object they display. Factors such as the setting in which they are exhibit, the labels and the information provided by the museum, the way museums filter the content, and the ay they are displayed can change our notion of how we look at an artwork.

It is very important that the curator staff dedicate a lot of time in the exhibit design so that the display attracts and delights all visitors. Both museums were able to display effectively the collection, although they were presented differently, one as an artifact and the other one as art. They motivated the visitors, focused the content, and captured the curiosity of the visitor. The Denver Art Museum and CU Art were able to mixed the best elements to create an amazing museum exhibit design.

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