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Experience or Interpretation

The Dilemma of Museums of Modern Art

Nicholas Serota


'A slender volume with intellectual muscle' Independent on Sunday


How do we see art? How is it displayed? One hundred years ago, art was shown in a way intended to educate. Galleries reflected the curator’s view of history at the expense of differing opinions. Today, not only do museums and galleries celebrate these differences of expression, they also welcome the collaboration of living artists, promoting an active dialogue between the present and the past. Galleries and museums are no longer just repositories. They are sites of experience where the mind is often engaged as much as the eye.

Here, Nicholas Serota presents a coherent historical account of changing attitudes to the way art is presented in the modern museum, examining the relationship between the artist, the public and the curator. He takes us into the artist's studio - itself a paradigm of display - and then on a knowledgeable and wide-ranging international tour of museums, galleries and installations, offering authoritative insights into the ways in which the display of art is likely to develop in the 21st century.

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback with flaps

Size: 21.0 x 15.0 cm

Extent: 64 pp

Illustrations: 55

Publication date: 8 May 2000

ISBN: 9780500282168

About the Author

Sir Nicholas Serota, is the former director of the Tate galleries, who has taken up the part-time role of Chairman of the Arts Council since February 2017. He was knighted in 1999 and appointed a Companion of Honour in 2013 for services to art.