The Environment of an Art Museum Explained

Newhouse, Victoria. Towards a New Museum. New York: Monacelli, 1998. Print. Victoria Newhouse, published architectural historian and author of Towards A New Museum along with other works, has focused on examining spaces as they relate to audience, service they provide, and effectiveness among other things. She claims that she, “merely observe(s) and assess(es) what others have done and will be doing to report on the direction museum architecture is taking.” She garnered first hand research gathered through interviews of museum directors to architects of these spaces. In presenting this information,  Towards A New Museum particularly helps museum goers understand why the environment of an art museum is set up the way it is and how that affects not only them, but the museum’s success in its entirety. Newhouse’s perspective was extremely valuable as I entered a space that presents art freely to the public and how I analyzed the way the art was presented to me. Equally so I would be able to enter an art museum  as a dérive from the research gathered in this book.

Krauel, Jacobo. New Concepts in Museum Architecture. N.p.: n.p., n.d. New Concepts In Museums Architecture tackles the architecture of museums all around the world by photographer Jacobo Krauel. Throughout there are sketches, photographs, and small commentaries displaying the most avant-garde to modern minimalist. The purpose mostly showing the differences and similarities of numerous museums to which you may deduce your own conclusions since it’s mostly photographs. This seems important to analyze as each space is designed with specific purpose, but you have to analyze any and all details to understand the environment and why it functions as whichever museum. It is a helpful comparison for the small Atlanta Contemporary Art Center in which you find minute similarities in an urban revival project.

Shiner, Larry. “Architecture vs. Art: The Aesthetics of Art Museum Design.”Contemporary Aesthetics 5 (2007). Larry Shiner is a published author of art history and professor of philosophy, history, and visual arts at the University of Illinois.  He tackles the premise that architectural design takes away from the interior, namely the art, of an art museum referencing philosophical theory and historical architects in support.  “I think…these fears are often exaggerated, but the issue itself is an important one with larger implications for the aesthetics of architecture.” That being said he expands upon his idea by comparing public vs. private galleries going back until the 1800s, comparing museum types such as those with permanent collections vs. exhibitions, and the philosophy of architecture. This information being important to museum goers, architects, and artists alike as they understand the dynamic between exterior and interior environments and how they interact. The source was helpful in one part specifically when analyzing museums with exhibitions as those are like the Contemporary Art Center.

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