Wednesday 2 May 2012

The Encyclopaedic Museum Loses its Educational Role

Getty CEO James Cuno sent out an email the other day about staff layoffs which indicate the way this particular 'Universal' museum will be going ('Cuno’s Memo: 34 Positions Eliminated at Getty Museum, Mostly in Education, for “More Efficient Operations”...', Chasing Aphrodite April 30the 2012). It seems the encyclopaedic museum will be going more for the dumbed-down Wikipedia approach, the first to go were the highly qualified staff teachers of the education department. Of the 17 gallery teachers now employed, only five will keep their jobs. The email stresses the cuts will not be affecting such a key element of the Museum's "core mission":
Building the Museum’s collection by acquiring works of art of the greatest importance;
So that's rich, the Getty is going to continue to build up an encyclopaedic collection in the good ol' "Enlightenment tradition", but is not actually going to stoop to presenting it to the great unwashed masses using trained staff any more. So who is the Getty collection for? The great American public or the Getty's curators?

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