recentpopularlog in

robertogreco : hammermuseum   7

Museum admission should be free: The state of art in 2014 - LA Times
"Recently I visited six prominent art museums in two states (Texas and Ohio) and saw a wide variety of rewarding special exhibitions and exceptional permanent collections. Aside from individual works of art, which included some of the most important paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs, illustrated books and decorative objects made in the entire history of world civilization, I was struck by something else: Admission to five of the six art museums was free.

That is as it should be.

Yes, every art museum needs multiple sources of revenue. It does cost money to run the place.

However, because they are tax exempt, art museums already count the public as a major, indirect source of revenue. Required admission fees add a second hit — a kind of "double jeopardy" — and it is one that falls harder on those who can least afford it.

The simple fact that I was struck by not having to pay for the privilege of entering tax-exempt, not-for-profit art institutions on my recent journeys suggests how unusual the experience is. That's because most of my museum time is spent in Los Angeles. Until this year, only one of the city's six most important art museums hasn't had a tariff for the public to see its art — even though the public at least nominally supports or owns it.

In February L.A. got its second free museum. UCLA's Hammer Museum joined the J. Paul Getty Museum (and the Getty Villa) in having no entry cost. The Hammer raised funds to bridge the immediate funding gap, and it has been working toward expanding memberships for added revenue. But here's the true measure of success: In the 10 months since dropping admission fees, the museum reports a hefty attendance jump of 25%.

Museums like to say that they are eager to engage new audiences, and no doubt they are. Growing attendance by a quarter without tinkering with the program is a pretty good working definition of new audience engagement.

Admission policies often have an unacknowledged influence on museum programs too, and it isn't always healthy. Admission fees turn visitors into customers, and relying on customers turns an educational enterprise — which is what a museum is — into a public entertainment. Quantity of response trumps quality of response, and in the short run the surest way to juice quantity is to popularize the program.

For example: It probably isn't an accident that each of the last three directors at the Museum of Contemporary Art (general admission $12) has chosen to host an exhibition revolving around Andy Warhol. Contemporary art is not popular with the public, but Warhol is a household name — a celebrity. What Monet or Picasso is for Modern art, Warhol is to contemporary art.

The most famous artist of the last half-century is presumably a popular draw. Here's the catch: None of MOCA's three Warhol shows added much of any significance to our already established understanding of a major artist's work. And each exhibition was less interesting than the one before it. The slide was palpable.

Museums might say they're interested in engaging new audiences, but sometimes it seems they're actually eager to engage more paying customers. The Indianapolis Museum of Art, mostly free since 1941, just announced it would zoom from zero to $18 a head.

Ironically, when it comes to admissions we're not even talking about a huge revenue generator. Nationally, the portion of an art museum's annual operating budget that is covered by visitors pushing cash across the counter at the admissions desk hovers in the vicinity of 5%. That's beyond modest, relatively speaking.

Free admission is already the norm at several smaller, more specialized institutions around the city, including the California African American Museum, the Annenberg Space for Photography, the UCLA Fowler Museum and the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Save for the Getty, however, the most imposing art museums in town swing far in the other direction.

In addition to MOCA, there's the Huntington (general admission $20 to $23), Los Angeles County Museum of Art ($15 to $25) and Norton Simon Museum ($12). You could certainly get free entry at any of them if you were a member, but I doubt many people sign up at all four: Together, the lowest individual rate for that would be $340.

One comparative test of the admission practice will come next fall, when the Broad Collection opens downtown on Grand Avenue. Happily, the Broad administration announced this year that, like the Getty and the Hammer, its collection of blue-chip contemporary art will be open free to the public.

It has been hoped that the splashy new attraction will also benefit MOCA, the Broad's edgier neighbor across the street. Interest in one might generate interest in the other. Soon we'll know whether MOCA's admission fee is a barrier — and if so, how much."
museums  2014  admissions  funding  cost  money  revenue  nonprofits  free  getty  hammermuseum  moca  ucla  christopherknight  art  losangeles  accessibility  access  nonprofit 
january 2015 by robertogreco
Rethink What Can Happen in a Museum: Portland Art Museum’s Shine a Light | Art Museum Teaching
"“Art is a space, which we have created, where we can cease to subscribe to the demands and the rules of society; it is a space where we can pretend. We can play, we can rethink things, we can think about them backwards.” —Pablo Helguera

As museums face the current challenges to drive relevance through becoming more active, participatory, responsive, and community-based, projects such as the ones explored in this past week’s posts indicate a potentially transformative role for artists to play. Whether rethinking a museum’s visitor experience, reinventing the public spaces of and around museums, drawing on creative practice to break museums’ ‘old habits,’ or interrogating the internal culture and working of the museum, artists are effectively exploring museum institutions as sites with a distinct “possibility for evolution,” to reconnect with the powerful words from Joseph Beuys that opened this series of posts (and from which the title of my paper came).

As the second International Museum Forum wraps up here in Yeongwol County, South Korea, I wanted to post this final excerpt from my paper, discussing the artist-driven program I am directly involved in here at the Portland Art Museum. In addition, I’m concluding this post with some of the “core, burning questions” that institutions involved in this work are addressing — especially as many of these projects are in a current phase of reflection and rethinking."



"Inspired by the Machine Project’s Field Guide to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art one-day event in November 2008 as well as the broader approach and process of social practice art, the team at the Portland Art Museum and PSU launched the first Shine a Light event in September 2009. For six hours, the museum was a space in which sixteen artists enacted projects that offered visitors new, unanticipated, playful and provocative ways to experience the museum.  The goals established during this first event—which have remained the core goals for this project up through the most recent Shine a Light event in 2013—included:

• Situate art (producing, interpreting, enjoying, puzzling over) as a living activity that everyone can participate in.
• Encourage an atmosphere of participation between the museum, its visitors, and artists.
• Make the museum a “site” of artistic production and practice.
• Inspire inquiry into the connection between art and everyday life.
• Have fun!

Artist-led projects that have been part of Shine a Light since 2009 have ranged from live Greco-Roman nude wrestling, a museum cookbook, dead artist seances, and haircuts inspired by artworks in the collection to inviting visitors to have a work of art tattooed onto their body, to sing songs about a work of art, or to display their personal cell phone photos within the museum’s photography collection."



"At the Open Engagement panel discussion, the top questions were revealed and discussed, and I think perhaps it is an appropriate way to end this paper by simply presenting these and other questions that are now sparking some open thinking in the field across institutions.

• Are we doing this work to broaden our audiences or to serve existing audiences?
• What’s the difference between an artist doing this work versus a public engagement or education department doing it?
• What does success look like? How do we measure success?
• What happens when institutions collaborate with artists? How can the questions artists ask reshape us as practitioners and reshape the museum itself?

Many of the answers to these and other questions are localized to each project and institution (some have even been addressed above by existing projects), yet certainly some common responses will emerge as institutions push ahead with experimental, participatory practices that open the spaces of museums to the work of social practice and socially-engaged artists, as well as museum staff that have been gaining a tremendous level of creative capacity through this type of work. Overall, many of these core questions bring the conversation back to the ability of these socially-engaged, participatory projects to effect change — whether that is shifting the ‘mindset’ for museum visitors as well as the communities that engage with museums, or a more broad social change felt in the community."

[See also:

Possibilities for Evolution: Artists Experimenting in Art Museums
http://artmuseumteaching.com/2013/10/14/artists-experimenting-in-art-museums/

Blurring the Lines: Walker Art Center’s Open Field
http://artmuseumteaching.com/2013/10/15/blurring-the-lines-walker-art-centers-open-field/

Getting a Better Sense of the Terrain: Machine Project at the Hammer Museum
http://artmuseumteaching.com/2013/10/18/getting-a-better-sense-of-the-terrain-machine-project-at-the-hammer-museum/ ]
mikemurawski  art  artmuseums  museums  arteducation  participatory  2013  openengagement  pablohelguera  josephbeuys  machineproject  markallen  hammermuseum  lacma  everyday  portlandartmuseum 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Public Engagement Artist in Residence Machine Project + Hammer Museum [.pdf]
"When the Hammer Museum embarked upon its Public Engagement program, thanks to a generous grant from the Irvine Foundation, we were afforded the opportunity to consider the roles of art, of artists, and even of visitors from a fresh perspective. It was a unique chance to put aside long-held notions of what guests often expect a museum experience to be—static and monologic at worst—and to enact what it can be at best—dynamic, with visitor and institution in conversation. Through Public Engagement, visitors have been able to step outside of their traditional roles as observers and to become participants. Similarly, we have been able to open up our process for working with artists and to collaborate on creating a new sphere, one that often exists beyond standard exhibitions and performances. Public Engagement has been one of our greatest experiments to date at the Hammer, coming at a pivotal moment in the history of the institution."
publicengagement  markallen  machineproject  ncmideas  openstudioproject  hammermuseum  art  experience  via:ablerism  museums  participation 
july 2013 by robertogreco
What Can We Learn from Artists’ Projects in Museums? | The Getty Iris
"More and more museums are inviting artists to go beyond hanging their art on their walls to create engaging visitor experiences inside the museum. At a panel discussion earlier this week [http://www.getty.edu/museum/programs/lectures/artists_in_museums_panel.html ], we invited curators, educators, and artists to talk about three pioneering artist-museum collaborations in L.A.

Robert Sain, former director of LACMA Lab, and Christoph Korner, partner at GRAFT architects, discussed their work on the Lab’s Seeing exhibition; Asuka Hisa, director of education and public programs at the Santa Monica Museum of Art (SMMoA), and artist Olga Koumoundouros presented their collaborative Wall Works installation (detailed in a great interview on KCET’s Artbound [http://www.kcet.org/arts/artbound/counties/los-angeles/wall-works-santa-monica-museum-of-art.html ]); and Machine Project’s Mark Allen and Elizabeth Cline (formerly of the Hammer Museum) discussed Machine’s yearlong public engagement residency at the Hammer.

Though the projects spanned three very different institutions and well over a decade, several common themes emerged. For more from the event, see the live tweets on Storify. [http://storify.com/gettymuseum/do-we-need-artists-in-art-museums ]"
lacmalab  robertsain  museums  art  2012  christophkorner  asukahisa  olgakoumoundouros  wallworks  artbound  markallen  machineproject  elizabethcline  hammermuseum  publicengagement  getty  artists  glvo  engagement  education  confusion  documentation  disruption  lcprocect  openstudioproject  lcproject 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Hammer Museum Made in LA 2012
"Made in L.A. 2012 is the Hammer Museum’s first large-scale biennial survey of the work of Los Angeles-based artists. Organized by the Hammer in collaboration with LA><ART—institutions with a long-standing commitment to recognizing and supporting Los Angeles’s extraordinary community of artists—the exhibition further underscores our dedication to the local art scene and our shared belief that one of our city’s greatest assets is its artists.

Los Angeles is home to some of the most original and innovative artists working today. Spread out across varied neighborhoods, the region can be seen as a microcosm of the nation—and even of the world—with all its diversity, complexity, and vibrancy. In recent years, increased attention to the city’s artistic production has led to a greater awareness of its position as a site for experimentation and has allowed artists to reach audiences far outside the city. Conversely, Los Angeles artists are bringing their unique perspectives about global issues to local audiences. This exhibition not only examines what is happening here “on the ground” but also brings into focus how our city engages with international contemporary art discourses.

Made in L.A. 2012 presents the work of artists in the early stages of their careers alongside that of midcareer artists who are vital to our community yet are arguably underrecognized. The vast majority of works on view were created specifically for the exhibition and reveal the extraordinary array of practices found in our sprawling and multifaceted city. The exhibition features figurative and abstract painting, sculpture, video installation, site- and situation-specific works, photography, works on paper, and a series of performances and public programs."
hammermuseum  art  losangeles  2012  biennial  madeinla  madeinla2012 
february 2013 by robertogreco

Copy this bookmark:





to read