Canal March

The museum as an intellectual malaise

María Bolaños

Through the testimony of various protagonists of the twentieth century, María Bolaños, professor of Art History at the University of Valladolid and director of the National Museum of Sculpture, sets out the general features of the history of museums. The lecturer starts from the museum's history in the 19th century to tackle the early 20th century, when the museum had become a "sanctuary" of knowledge and contemplation, a "cannibalistic institution, capable of swallowing everything the human spirit produced". The institutionalization of museums soon led to their exhaustion, and therefore to new theories and formulas for their functioning, in order to avoid the nascent 'malaise with culture'. The speaker referred, among others, to the opinions of the poet Paul Valéry, contained in his text "The Problem of Museums" (1923), or the plea in favour of the museum by Marcel Proust in "In Search of Lost Time" (1913).

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