For Duncan and Wallach the main critical point of museums is their Their panache was a show of the stand point of an ideological power. Duncan [1] Carol Duncan and Alan Wallach, “The Universal Survey Museum”, ed. Carol Duncan: Maybe Feminism Has Just Begun. Diary of Once outside that model, the relevance of social and ideological questions couldn’t be ignored. PDF | On Dec 1, , Carol Duncan and others published The Universal Survey DUNCAN AND WALLACH, THE UNIVERSAL SURVEY take up political positions on social issues that affect the communities they serve .

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The result was the Metropolitan. As United States emerged as a nation-state, its claim on the western civilization became also apparent.

The Louvre was aimed to communicate not the majesty of a royalty or King, but the nation. The idea of such a museum in America was a mixture of post-Civil War ideologies, as well as issue of national pride. Thus the transformation from royal gallery to public art museum has begun. Private showings of royal owned art were done in town houses or villas but after the French Revolution the political climate changed to the point that these private aristocratic collections were criticized [ 2 ].

Even before French revolution though, many royal collections were being showcased in public locations such as The Glytothek in Munich, Viennese Royal Collection in Vienna, the Dresden Gallery and Uffizi of the Medicis. For Duncan and Wallach the main critical point of museums is their ideological stance [ 1 ].

Although different types of museums have emerged in the last few centuries to face the need of different sociological contexts, the universal survey museums survive as the sole heir of the classical tradition, almost to the point that they define what civilization is. Yet the establishment of Louvre seems to have changed museum history.


The roots idsological universal survey museums are traced back to the 18th century when the majority of the art were in the hands of the royalties. The works now needed to be arranged by the iceological of the enlightenment, in a fashion that creates a meta narrative about the state and the people vs the king and the royalty. To conclude this short history of universal museums, one then have to move onto America to rediscover this ritualistic space called the universal survey museum.

Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must be logged in to post a comment. Yet America had the distinct disadvantage of joining the race late, as many of the relics of traditional western civilization had already found their places in Europe this seems to be the apparent reason why New York would later become a global center for modern art.

In these context museums become ritualistic locations, sacred locations of art in which visitors are expected to understand, internalize and exalt the values embedded in the shown works.

It was to be accessible to everyone, it was to be a national monument and it was to nourish the fine tastes of the society and educate them in the ways of art, aesthetics and caro. Please check the main site for more.

Museum as a Ritualist Construct « Doxography ()

Then suddenly the universal survey museum also had a mission. After the revolution though, the path of Louvre became even more clear. Museum as a Ritualist Construct 11th December Yet paradoxically, this idea of celebrating the nation was not of the whole nation; just the bourgeois and the educated few.


Their panache was a show of the stand point of an ideological power. The transformation was also one of the physical. After a recent personal visit to Louvre and the surrounding museum-city-state, it felt appropriate to tell the story of the emergence of museums and approach this history with a critical eye. The way the artworks were arranged also had to be changed. For rest of the Europe, of course, the universal museum was a threat as much as the French Revolution.

Museum as a Ritualist Construct.

This emphasis is not unjust since Louvre serves as the template for the original universal survey gallery. They point out that, for past societies the places of spectacle that held together the beliefs and values of iideological society were used to be the temples and cathedrals.

Because these places were affirmation of the power and social authority of certain classes, they were lavishly constructed and adorned. Duncan and Wallach elaborate on the experience Louvre offers to its visitors from its main entrance pavilion to the formation of galleries. You must be logged in to post a comment.

Museum as a Ritualist Construct

My main field of study is video game studies and interactive literature. This also enabled or hastened the birth of an art history discipline, which in turn resulted in a race to possess art from the key moments of history.

Another special attention was given to the architectural adornments of Louvre, especially to the ceiling paintings since their history is also a history of political power in the state.