Cultural Interaction and the Museum by: msleeds

Cultural Interaction and the Museum

As I look for insight about myself, my culture, and how they relate to each other, I have turned to Art History and the museum.
The notion " that museums hold the stored material culture of the past," is intriguing.
According to Leeds,(thats me), Art is a reflection of a culture at a specific point in time. Art History is being the recorded part.
If according to Pearce,(author of school Art History book), and Leeds these postulates hold true, then it would be probable that a great place to look for the answer of how we got to this time and place would be a museum.
I also learned by a field trip, that a museum has different faces. The museum I visited, Orange County Museum, was not what I expected. It was an Art Museum but not one that depicted past years of human endeavors. The exhibits were on the cutting edge with futuristic thought and folly. Maybe we are getting a glimpse of the future currents or maybe we are getting to see someone’s washed out wave. In either event, it proves that not all museum faces are the same. It does bring to mind the questions of who chooses exhibits that are to be seen and what is the purpose or intent of the person(s) that makes these choices?
“Power relations within museums and galleries are skewed towards the collecting subject who makes decisions in relation to space, time, and visibility; in other words as to what may be viewed, how it should be seen, and when this is possible.”
According to Leeds, in a frivolous effort to be noticed, man compares himself to what he thinks is great work, thus mingling and promoting himself. If he is the only authoritative figure at this time, it’s a good chance he will get away with it, for history marches on and all we will have to compare of his time is what he has written.

“Knowledge is now well understood as the commodity that museums offer.”
“Discover how one man’s vision can change the way you look at the world.”
" Museums and galleries can alter perception and can contribute to knowledge."

According to Leeds, value judgements are made using a value system that may compliment the choice and give it relative justification. A warning note should be put here because we all have different value systems. Hopefully we are making the right choice but as we saw with September 11 plane crashes, other value systems are in place.So, what to believe? Which museum to visit? What exactly is a relative culture? Am I the sum of all the previous cultures that existed before me, or am I the sum total of just the cultures that intermingled, clashed, burned, and rebuilt from a given hemisphere?Can I draw strength from the past? Is it true that one picture is worth a thousand words? Will the past cultures show us signs of where we are going or are we destined to continually repeat our mistakes?Will world tech drive us to ruin or become our savior? Will we have enough time to work it out or will we destroy ourselves unconditionally?Cultural Interaction is never as important as it is now. Our lives and the future of our sons and daughters depend on this island in the sky’s melting pot mixing properly, without boiling over, and creating higher value for life, as we know it.

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