Collecting the New: Museums and Contemporary Art by Bruce AltshulerCollecting the New: Museums and Contemporary Art by Bruce Altshuler

Collecting the New: Museums and Contemporary Art

EditorBruce Altshuler

Paperback | August 12, 2007

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Collecting the New is the first book on the questions and challenges that museums face in acquiring and preserving contemporary art. Because such art has not yet withstood the test of time, it defies the traditional understanding of the art museum as an institution that collects and displays works of long-established aesthetic and historical value. By acquiring such art, museums gamble on the future. In addition, new technologies and alternative conceptions of the artwork have created special problems of conservation, while social, political, and aesthetic changes have generated new categories of works to be collected.

Following Bruce Altshuler's introduction on the European and American history of museum collecting of art by living artists, the book comprises newly commissioned essays by twelve distinguished curators representing a wide range of museums. First considered are general issues including the acquisition process, and collecting by universal survey museums and museums that focus on modern and contemporary art. Following are groups of essays that address collecting in particular media, including prints and drawings, new (digital) media, and film and video; and national- and ethnic-specific collecting (contemporary art from Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and African-American art). The closing essay examines the conservation problems created by contemporary works--for example, what is to be done when deterioration is the artist's intent?

The contributors are Christophe Cherix, Vishakha N. Desai, Steve Dietz, Howard N. Fox, Chrissie Iles and Henriette Huldisch, Pamela McClusky, Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, Lowery Stokes Sims, Robert Storr, Jeffrey Weiss, and Glenn Wharton.

Bruce Altshuler is Director of the Program in Museum Studies at New York University and former Director of the Isamu Noguchi Garden Museum, New York. His books include The Avant-Garde in Exhibition: New Art in the 20th Century and Isamu Noguchi.
Title:Collecting the New: Museums and Contemporary ArtFormat:PaperbackDimensions:208 pagesPublished:August 12, 2007Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0691133735

ISBN - 13:9780691133737

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Table of Contents

Collecting the New: A Historical Introduction by Bruce Altshuler 1
The Right to Be Wrong by Howard N. Fox 15
To Have and to Hold by Robert Storr 29
9Minutes 45 Seconds by Jeffrey Weiss 41
Breaking Down Categories: Print Rooms, Drawing Departments, and the Museum by Christophe Cherix 55
Keeping Time: On Collecting Film and Video Art in the Museum by Chrissie Iles and Henriette Huldisch 65
Collecting New-Media Art: Just Like Anything Else, Only Different by Steve Dietz 85
Beyond the "Authentic-Exotic": Collecting Contemporary Asian Art in the Twenty-first Century by Vishakha N. Desai 103
The Unconscious Museum: Collecting Contemporary African Art without Knowing It by Pamela McClusky 115
The Accidental Tourist: American Collections of Latin American Art by Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro 131
Collecting the Art of African-Americans at the Studio Museum in Harlem: Positioning the "New" from the Perspective of the Past by Lowery Stokes Sims 147
The Challenges of Conserving Contemporary Art by Glenn Wharton 163
Acknowledgments 179
Index 181
Photography Credits 194

Editorial Reviews

"Particularly well-organized and accessibly written, this book explores the collecting and preservation of contemporary art created in a wide range of media. Its variety of essays, especially those addressing different types of institutions and various spheres of ethnicity and region, provides a very rich, stimulating, and useful introduction to this important topic."-Jeffrey Abt, Wayne State University