For better or worse, museums are changing from forbidding bastions of rare art into audience-friendly institutions that often specialize in “blockbuster” exhibitions designed to draw crowds. But in the midst of this sea change, one largely unanswered question stands out: “What makes a great exhibition?” Some of the world’s leading curators and art historians try to answer this question here, as they examine the elements of a museum exhibition from every angle.
What Makes a Great Exhibition? investigates the challenges facing American and European contemporary art in particular, exploring such issues as group exhibitions, video and craft, and the ways that architecture influences the nature of the exhibitions under its roof. The distinguished contributors address diverse topics, including Studio Museum in Harlem director Thelma Golden’s examination of ethnically-focused exhibitions; and Robert Storr, director of the 2007 Venice Biennale and formerly of the Museum of Modern Art, on the meaning of “exhibition and “exhibitionmaker.”
A thought-provoking volume on the practice of curatorial work and the mission of modern museums, What Makes A Great Exhibition? will be indispensable reading for all art professionals and scholars working today.