Tuesday, May 20, 2014
An Exhibition About an Art Critic?
Nobody goes to a baseball game to watch the umpires, so why would someone go to a museum to see an exhibition dedicated to an art critic—one of those arbiters of taste who hopes to mediate but sometimes only muddles the interaction between artists and the public? England’s Tate Britain bets that the British public will come to watch the umpire in their new exhibition Kenneth Clark: Looking for Civilisation. Not just your average umpire, Sir Kenneth Clark (shown above) ruled over art criticism for decades, stretching from his becoming Director of the British National Gallery in 1933 at just 30 years of age all the way to his crowning achievement with the 13-part documentary Civilisation: A Personal View by Kenneth Clark in 1969. Although the main focus of the show is on Clark’s work in the 1930s and 1940s, by having the show’s title hark back to his highly personal broadcast of what was civilization and art, it raises the larger question of how this public servant served the public for well-intentioned good and possibly ill, as any critic can. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "An Exhibition About an Art Critic?"