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Museum Studies in the Twenty-First Century: Theory and Praxis (September): Museum Functions and Approaches

By Juilee Decker

Museum Functions and Approaches

The rich body of literature on the history and theory of museums suggests that it might be helpful to rethink the analogy of museums, to consider them not a tomb (a la Theodore Adorno) or a laboratory (Alfred Barr) but instead as a supermarket (Andy Warhol) or, most recently, what Joanne Heyler (founding director of Los Angeles’s new contemporary art museum The Broad) called a “veiled vault.” This section looks at how these analogs impact understanding of the function of museums and the methodologies of museum practice.