Aw, yeah, it's year-end list time! Today I got to join in the action with my top 3 art "things" of the year posted at Canadianart.ca.
All of my picks had to do with institutions. An excerpt:
1. Some Downward Pressure on Public-Museum Admission Fees
This year, I completed a rather unexciting transition—from being a writer whose main concern is art to being a writer whose main concern is art’s institutions, in particular our large, publicly funded museums and galleries. Over the past decade—despite museum policies that mandate as much equitable access as possible to their publicly held collections—major museums and galleries in Canada have tended to eliminate free access to such collections, at the same time implementing admission-fee hikes that well outpace inflation. In 2011, for whatever reason, that trend has, thankfully, started to stall (and even reverse somewhat). On October 27, the Royal Ontario Museum—until that point in time, by my calculation, the most expensive museum to visit in Canada—announced it was lowering its admission fees from $24 per adult to $15 per adult. On November 16, during a public talk in Toronto, National Gallery of Canada director Marc Mayer said he wanted to restore free permanent-collection access at the nation’s largest art museum. And on November 22, the Power Plant announced that admission would be free for one year beginning in March 2012 in honour of its 25th anniversary. None of these actions can come close to mending wholesale the relationship between public art institutions and the constituencies for which they were ostensibly founded. (And in highlighting these few nominal improvements, I recognize that I’m failing to cheerlead for the museums and galleries that have bothered to maintain free public-collection access and other free access over the years, from the Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal to the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art and beyond.) But it’s a small start to what I hope will be a more equitable and people-friendly art world of 2012.
To read my other two points, head to Canadianart.ca.
(Image of the Royal Ontario Museum admissions desk Copyright 2009 Royal Ontario Museum)
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Posted by Leah Sandals at 3:44 PM