National Pavilion UAE - Museums and Art Exhibitions as Educational Institutions | By Nidal Touma
  • Museums and Art Exhibitions as Educational Institutions | By Nidal Touma

    Art, history of art and art education are several facets for the culture of a nation, and for that museums and art exhibitions can be considered as pedagogic institutions or educational events, their role is to educate visitors while entertaining them at the same time… mainly through exhibiting the collection of their artworks in a certain way that convey an educational message and allows the visitor to grasp it.

    Hence we can notice that the collection of a museum is indeed its most important asset. At the same time this very same asset impose certain limits on the pedagogic role of museum by making it destined to the limitation of its permanent collections, on the contrary art exhibitions are relatively more free from such limits because they depend on collections of any museum in the world that is willing to give it on lend.

    Based on the type of the collection of the museum, the museum “genre” or specialization is determined; classical art museum, modern art museum, contemporary art museum, also further specializations can be found when the museum’s collection is linked to a certain geographic area; for example:  Ca’ Rezzonnico is an example of classical art museum of Veneto; which is the district in north east Italy where Venice is, while Ca’ Pessaro is another museum in Venice dedicated for modern and contemporary art

    Other museums in Venice are actually Palazzo (Italian for a palace) turned into a museum, and the main thing they exhibit is the building itself with the original decorations and some of the original furniture. This can be considered a “period museum”. A good example of that is the museum Correr, which at the same time can be considered as classical museum since it has a classical art collection and an exhibition center because it has a whole floor dedicated for temporary exhibitions

    Away from museums and palaces, art exhibitions are a parallel path of educational art events, they don’t have a permanent collection, and their pedagogic message is tailored in a different way; usually it’s oriented to present a particular idea or theme. Those art exhibition can be periodic; once a year, once every two years (biennial), or even once every five years. And some of them gained big reputation due to their long history and emportance; like the Venice Biennial which started in 1985 and it never stop except for one cycle at the time of the world war

    Another strength of art exhibitions is the way they attract their visitors, and the way they are sought by a wide public. Many people from all over the world are ready to travel internationally to attend a famous art exhibition… so it’s a good opportunity for artists and curators to get a global exposure and send their artistic message to people all around the globe

    Even though art exhibition seem to be able to attract more visitors and be capable of crossing national limits to deliver their message globally, also they seem to have more freedom from a lot of the collection limitations… countries shall make equal efforts to focus on art exhibitions as well as museums… because both museums and other art events are needed to formulate a thorough strategy for publics’ art education, having several types “genre” of museums is also a plus to make the educational role more complete and effective

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