Sarcophagus Fragment, Roman, ca. 240-250 CE, The Art Institute of Chicago

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Notizie meravigliose

Art museums are usually thought of as stuffy, elitist institutions.  You don't go to an art museum to have a good time; you go to an art museum to learn.  I've always though that learning is a good time, but I can see where people are coming from when they complain about art museums.  Many museums don't go the extra mile in making a visit an "experience."  Many do though, and I think that's wonderful.  Visiting a museum should be more engaging than simply looking at an artifact behind a glass case.  The museum I visit the most, the Milwaukee Art Museum, does a good job of incorporating world renowned art with informative histories, descriptions and displays.  If I were in charge, I would go a step further, but that's the topic of a previous post.  

What the Palazzo Massimo is doing is a great.  The many art museums in Rome have always had a bad reputation, not for lack of amazing art, but for multi-hour queues and stuffy atmospheres.  That's all about to change, at least at Palazzo Massimo.  The Palazzo Massimo alle Terme museum is only ten years old, but it holds an amazing collection of Republican/Imperial/Late Roman art.  Their new attitude on the museum "experience" is one that will hopefully be copied by the many other great institutions in Rome and around the world.