Museum as Muse
Artists List
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Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp.
L.H.O.O.Q. 1919.

Photographic reproduction and pencil, 7 3/4 x 4 7/8" (19.6 x 12.3 cm). Private collection ©Succession Marcel Duchamp 1999, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ ADAGP, Paris, 1999.
The public museum, since its founding in the late eighteenth century, has enjoyed a complex, interdependent, and ever-changing relationship with the artist. This Web site was created to accompany the exhibition The Museum as Muse: Artists Reflect, which explores this rich and varied relationship through a broad-based, international survey of works about museums and their practices and policies. Focusing on the postwar period, the exhibition also features earlier artists such as American painter Charles Willson Peale, several nineteenth-century photographers, and Russian Constructivist El Lissitzky.

The artists in The Museum as Muse: Artists Reflect have studied nearly every aspect of museums--from their curatorial and administrative policies, to their exhibition strategies and priorities, to their fund-raising practices--using a range of mediums, including painting, sculpture, photography, installation, audio, video, and performance art, to frame their critiques. Many have appropriated aspects of museum practice as a conceptual or formal strategy, and some have even constructed their own personal museums.

The word museum stems from the Greek museion, meaning "house of the muses," the nine goddesses of creative inspiration. During the twentieth century, the museum has expanded its function as a home or repository for the arts to become a locus for artistic inspiration and activity.


  ©1999 The Museum of Modern Art, New York