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Museum as Muse  
The Museum as Muse: Artists Reflect
Kynaston McShine

Since public museums came into being in the late 18th century, artists have looked upon them with a mixture of reverence, complicity, suspicion, and disdain. In this lively and intellectually provocative book, artists of many persuasions speak their minds about museums, their functions and spaces, their practices and politics, and their relationship to the art they contain.

More than 60 artists are represented by a wide range of works: photographs of museum patrons by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Elliott Erwitt; "personal museums" and "cabinets of curiosities" by Charles Willson Peale, Marcel Duchamp, and Claes Oldenburg; fantasies of the destruction or transformation of museums by Hubert Robert, Edward Ruscha, and Christo; and much more, including works created especially for this project by contemporary artists. Short comments by various authors accompany many of the illustrations and an anthology of statements and writings by artists about museums is included.

Bibliography. 250 illustrations, including 76 in full color, 296 pages hardcover $50; members, $45 (091) paperback $24.95; members, $22.46 (092)

Panel Discussion
"The Imagined Museum"

Tuesday, May 18, 1999, 6:30 p.m.

A panel discussion with Mark Dion, artist; James Fenton, Professor of Poetry, Oxford University; Susan Sontag, novelist and essayist; and Lawrence Weschler, author of Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder and staff writer, The New Yorker. Moderated by Linda Shearer, Director, Williams College Museum of Art.

For more information, please call the Department of Education at (212) 708-9832.


  ©1999 The Museum of Modern Art, New York