Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Tucson Museum of Art - The Virgin, Saints and Angels

The Virgin, Saints and Angels is an exhibition that opened today (and also a book). This exhibition examines styles from the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru.

I have read that this collection (the Thoma collection) offers a compelling survey of diverse schools, illustrating the range of religious and secular subject matter favored in the region...

...BUT - and here's the big BUT - the curator of the collection, who spoke at the museum today as part of the opening of this exhibition said little to nothing about how to read the different styles, recognize the influences of the different schools or what religious and secular subject matter exactly is present. In fact, she didn't even greet the audience when she stepped up to the podium, nor did she allow any time for a question and answer session. It was a snore and which I had to stand through because they ran out of seating.

The longer I spend in academia the more fearful I become of the missing bridge phenomenon: the more education and specialization one receives, the more difficult it is for one to bridge the gap between one's self and one's target audience. No one there wanted to hear a string of names of places and people - totally unfamiliar to them - without a story, analysis, or more cultural significance to give meaning to it all.

But the paintings were neat. I wish I knew how those floating baby angel heads got so popular.

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