Wednesday, August 05, 2009

What are we looking for?

More than 200 Times readers have responded to the question the chief art critic Michael Kimmelman poses in his latest Abroad column:
What exactly are we looking for when we roam around museums?
On a recent visit to the Louvre, Mr. Kimmelman observed that “almost nobody, over the course of that hour or two, paused before any object for as long as a full minute.” His conclusion: “Tourists now wander through museums, seeking to fulfill their lifetime’s art history requirement in a day, wondering whether it may now be the quantity of material they pass by rather than the quality of concentration they bring to what few things they choose to focus upon that determines whether they have ‘done’ the Louvre. It’s self-improvement on the fly.”
Julie Bloom in the NYT discusses the comments and their meaning. The comments have a few good points (lack of benches, etc.) but most are full of high handed snobbery and sadness. Read it here.