Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesVisual ArtsOther - Visual Arts · 1 decade ago

What do I write about for a Museum critique?

I need to write a museum critique about the Torrance Museum of art. what can I write/critique about? I need help starting the paper! thanks!

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Being a museum fan, here's what I look for in a good museum and you can see if the Torrance fits any of them.

    1. I would like the museum to be interesting in and of itself - (Ft. Worth Modern, Kimbell, Amon Carter) without detracting from presenting the art (Guggenheim in NYC does). A dull or ordinary building exterior can be overcome inside. I can take or leave classical columns, etc.

    2. I would like to find a variety of spaces inside so that the art can be presented to its best advantage. All the rooms being alike means that some small art is being overwhelmed. Also a variety of rooms makes moving between them more interesting. The Des Moines Art Center illustrates both of these - the older part of the building is a series of large high ceilinged rooms that could be ball rooms in the a hotel. The newer (about 1965 so not all that new) sculpture area is a delight with various sizes and shapes of rooms, some entered from a second level, with closet sized spaces for small art and hanging spaces and big spaces.

    3. Either there should be a variety of spaces for the art or the museum must have flexible walls or the budget for temporary walls to proportion the space. The Kimbell does a good job of proportioning their spaces as does the Dallas Museum of Art, the former having a system of flexible walls that can be locked to the permanent walls, the latter building temporary ones. The Guggenheim in NYC is notorious for lack of a variety of spaces because Wright imposed his ramp design, so every "room" is a parallelogram to the slope of the ramp and is only as deep as the ramp is wide.

    4. Once in the museum, I don't much like windows as they add glare and detail that isn't needed. Having said that, the Ft. Worth Modern has spaces that have 3 glass walls and they are treated almost as air conditioned outdoor spaces viewable from other areas of the museum while the main halls and stairs have no windows. There is a museum, in Denver I think, where tall narrow glass panels accent the changes of direction of the walls and halls so the light is almost like hidden lighting. The outdoors can only be seen by walking right up to the glass and that worked for me.

    5. I like a building or an exhibit plan where a flow is fairly obvious. It is especially true of older buildings - like the National Museum in DC - but also some newer - like the Meadows in Dallas - where a series of rooms are linked by several doors per room, so when looking at the collection it is hard to discern how to travel from century to century or country to country or related styles. Exhibitions normally have a design and doors are blocked off to encourage flow through the design.

    6. I am happiest when a museum has enough space to permit patrons to move or, more importantly in some cases, not move as when stopping to study a piece without blocking other peoples movement. I have to use a mobility scooter these days and flow around its bulk can be a factor. A space that has cases in the middle and seating so placed that people are confined to sidewalk width spaces can interfer with enjoying or studying the art.

    7. Speaking of mobility, a museum that tucks its only elevator back in a corner, so changing floors requires a trip across the museum is irritating for everyone and painful for those who can't climb stairs but can walk, perhaps painfully, on the level.

    8. Although it can be an exhibition characteristic, it may be a museum problem if labels on pieces can not be read. I recently visited the Trammel Crow Museum of Asian Art and the labels were black on medium grey in small print set at the back of stands in dim light to protect the paintings. From my scooter it was impossible to read them and even standing required sidling along side the platforms holding stuff and bending over to read them. I complained and the next exhibit had bigger print, better ink/paper contrast and somewhat better placement.

    9. For people who drive, being able to park conveniently is nice. For people who take buses, it is nice if the museum has the influence to get a route by the door.

    10. I like a museum that has a variety of programs. Dallas has several good ones for various aged kids. The Milwaukee has a teaching program where people actually learn how to handle the materials of the period in addition to the painting styles and you find easels set up around the museum as they do their work.

    11. Some museums are primarily exhibit spaces (Ft. Worth Community Arts Center) and some are primarily permanent collections (Dallas to some extent). I prefer it when the permanent collections show some signs of addition and change (like the Kimbell and Carter) that is pointed out and have a variety of smaller visiting exhibits or displays from the stored parts of the collection, and not just blockbusters.

    12. Some museums are called textbook or encyclopedia museums - the DMA is one - where they have one or two examples each of many many artists so visiting is an experience like reading a textbook on art. Other museums have many many paintings by each of a few artists so that it is possible to seeing the artist's entire career or time period. The Art Institute in Chicago with its Impressionist collection and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts with all the Picasso's from early to late are examples.

    13. And it is always nice when a city has a group of museums that are easy to visit, especially within reasonable walking distance and they cooperate so you can be in one and find out what is happening in the others. Ft. Worth has 6 and Houston brags of 18 - in both cases, not all are art.

  • cairns
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Museum Critique

  • Nomi
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Wow, that's a totally open question. Your teacher did not give you any guidelines, any questions to address? That's kind of crazy unless you're a graduate student or something. I would talk to the teacher and ask for more guidance; there are a million ways you could "critique a museum." Honestly, I went to art school and had to write and give lots of critiques, but I don't even know what a museum critique means. Does it mean the way the museum is organized? Or is it about the specific art in the museum? (Or, frankly ten different questions that come to mind just as I'm writing this.)

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    It's actually a very bad 'research paper'. It's not a paper, it's a dairy. Stop referring to yourself, change your text and take out all references to what you did. Most of your first paragraph is irrelevant, you're not writing a story but a paper, then no-one even cares what happened before you set foot in the final museum. So, what would we get: Titel Subtitle (Appleton museum) (short paragraph about how the Appleton museum came about) Subtitle (the Judgement of Solomon) The story A description of the painting Subtitle (Joseph Van Severdonck) His biography (short again) Subtitle (Conclusion) Conclusion Also, there are other errors, you begin retelling the story, get to about half of it and about the rest you practically say: whatever! (The rest of the story goes on to tell what King Solomon decides to do with the baby and that decision is that he wants to cut him in half and give one half to each of the women) That's a bad sentence by the way. Try to say everything with as little words as possible. Israel didn't exist at that time, Solomon was king of Judea. Check for spelling too. You interrupt yourself while talking about the security guard, that clearly shows that you don't have a plan, you're just typing, so don't. You don't even have to refer to that man anyway. Edit: if you are supposed "to be telling about [your] trip to the museum" then it isn't a research paper but a dairy. (you've hardly done any research anyway)

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  • 6 years ago

    I would like to write a critique the Susan B. Anthony House

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago


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