The Power of Display: A History of Exhibition Installations at the Museum of Modern Art

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9780262692724: The Power of Display: A History of Exhibition Installations at the Museum of Modern Art
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Art historians, traditionally, have implicitly accepted the autonomy of the artwork and ignored what Mary Anne Staniszewski calls "the power of display". In this examination of installation design as an aesthetic medium and cultural practice, Staniszewksi offers a history of exhibitions at the most powerful and influential modern art museum - The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Focusing on over 200 photographs of the visually rich but overlooked history of exhibition, Staniszewski documents and deciphers an essential chapter of 20th-century art and culture and provides a historical and theoretical framework for a primary area of contemporary aesthetic practice - installation-based art. Staniszewski treats installations as creations that manifest values, ideologies, politics and of course aesthetics. Incorporating analysis of display techniques used in department stores, natural history museums, non-Western art galleries, and the international avant-gardes' exhibitions of the first half of the century, she makes visible both the explicit and covert meanings found in exhibitions. Some of the questions she addresses are: what sort of viewers do different types of installations "create"? How do exhibition designs affect the meanings and receptions of specific objects, images, artifacts, adn buildings when they are displayed? How do installations shape the viewer's experience of the cultural ritual of a museum visit? How does an amnesia regarding exhibition design affect art history, the art world, and collective cultural memories?

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"For many, this handsomely designed and profusely illustrated book will come as a revelation, as much for its bold thesis as for its detailed research." - Brian Wallis, Bookforum

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9780262194020: The Power of Display: A History of Exhibition Installations at the Museum of Modern Art

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ISBN 10:  0262194023 ISBN 13:  9780262194020
Publisher: MIT Press, 1999
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