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Post #718 • January 30, 2006, 12:08 PM • 5 Comments

More significant content coming soon regarding this past weekend's trip to Philly, but in the meantime, life imitates the Three Stooges at the Fitzwilliam Museum.




January 30, 2006, 2:14 PM

Ouch! That's paintful. The Quin succeeded the Ming Dynasty and good examples of the enameled porcelains bring millions. One sold for $15 million last Fall in Hong Kong.



January 30, 2006, 7:48 PM

The way it sounds . . . jesus - they were sitting on a ledge next to a fucking staircase?! Couldn't they hire someone to come through once or twice a year and be a sort of all-purpose spoilsport about stuff like this? Sort of, "y'all have had 40 years of good luck with those, but maybe it's time to get them under glass?"



January 31, 2006, 7:52 AM

In college, I worked at the Frick Collection in New York. They have a similar unprotected/ open exhibition policy for a lot of their decorative arts (which always made me a little nervous walking through the galleries). And yet, sequestering the art behind well protected showcases would entirely change the atmosphere for the worse: from one that seamlessly incorporates great art and real life, to one where art is separated as an "other," so rare and precious it can no longer be part of the living world. Where every object is behind the cold but very safe walls of laser guarded plexi...

It like the Pieta at the Vatican-- ever since that geologist with Christ-like delusions went after it with a sledgehammer, its since been so "protected" you can barely see it anymore. Its safety is probably more assured, but the public can't really enjoy it anymore either --unless you your bring binoculars.

Its a hard call.



January 31, 2006, 9:59 AM

Good point Huckle. I saw la Pieta at the Vatican behind plexi and i for one was glad it was protected although perhaps a more aesthetically pleasing form of display should be designed in general. Plexi is indeed impersonal as well as dated in appearance. I'm sure there have been advancements in the material itself as well as the form it can take (beshides in sheets) since it's invention.



January 31, 2006, 10:19 AM

I don't think it's a hard call.

Two little gallery/museum experiences illustrate this. A show of Inuit carvings at the Art Gallery of Alberta deliivers more visual information on the reflective nature of plexiglass topped plinths than on the feel of polished soapstone. And the Medicine Hat Esplanade Gallery is so worried about loss/liability that they've instructed the attendant security guard to closely follow patrons around the exhibit - about 8 feet close. The viewer is more on display in these venues than the art.

Neither of these exhibitions could be ranked as invaluable collections of art or artifact, especially compared to the Qin vases. The risk of damage does not outweigh the benefit of being able to view any of these things in a setting that allows some tangible appreciation.

Man, force-field technology is coming along so slowly.



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