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Uffizi Gallery: Art Museum Installation Styles Evolvement

The concepts of museums and museum installations have changed significantly over the past several hundred years. The first well-known museums and galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, were predominantly collections of rare and precious objects intended for pure admiration (Paul, 2012). An example of a later context for museum exhibitions is the Louvre Museum, where works of art were exhibited in chronological order and depending on the nationality and art school of the author. This approach created the prerequisites for discussing the masterpieces and understanding the art within the framework of history. Some contemporary museums retain this classic concept, while others are entirely open to experimenting with museum architectural styles, inner spaces, and collections’ filling. This paper aims to discuss how art museum installation styles have evolved between 1870 and 2020.

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The medieval museums induced a distinguished idea into the general concept of modern museum art installations. This concept was present in 17th-18th century’s galleries, like the Uffizi Gallery in Florence (Paul, 2012). The essence of this concept was to collect the most valuable, renowned, and remarkable pieces of art under one roof of the particular gallery. The Medici family contributed greatly to the development of art in this framework, just like the future generations of kings and merchants who valued the art for its price and displayed it for pure admiration.

However, later the concept evolved into something new. At the end of the 18th century, Parisian elites, inspired by the examples of Dresden, Dusseldorf, Rome, and Florencia museums, started to demand that the king should arrange the gallery where the most outstanding pieces of art will be presented for the art tourists and other visitors (Paul, 2012). Therefore, the creation of the museum at the Louvre Palace has begun to meet this demand. The new museum was seen as a particularly important political sign and cultural center after the Revolution claimed it. The art pieces were presented here in chronological order and depending on the master’s school of art and nationality to emphasize the historical meaning of the site. The distinguished experiment with the palace architecture aimed to meet the needs of the museum art installations in the proper light. It featured the ceiling windows that added a unique atmosphere to the Grand Gallery of the Louvre.

Nowadays, the museums’ spaces, collections, and approach to exhibitions have changed dramatically since the museums of contemporary art appeared. However, classical attitudes to art were preserved as well. There are plenty of styles in contemporary art, with some of them completely denying the past, others juxtaposing themselves to the past, and others implementing the ideas of continuity between artists and sculptors of the past and present. An example of the latter approach is the Metropolitan Art Museum and Exhibition of the Cree Artist Kent Monkman named “mistikosiwak (Wooden Boat People).” The exhibition features two 11 feet by 22 feet grand paintings depicting Indigenous people and their contact with the Westerners. Kent Monkman completely reimagines the artistic representation of the Indigenous people, who have historically been portrayed as small, hostile tribes on the brink of extinction on a vast, populous continent. The Monkman, by contrast, puts the Indigenous people in a more truthful light in terms of history, as a friendly, modern, and large tribe that has been invaded by armed Europeans.

Thus, it was discussed how art museum installation styles have evolved between 1870 and 2020. The Uffizi Gallery in Florence and the Louvre Museum are examples of more traditional approaches to exhibitions and filling of collections. An example of a modern understanding is the Metropolitan Art Museum, which stands at the intersection between classical and contemporary art and presents artists who express the continuity between masters of the past and the present.

References

Paul, C. (Ed.). (2012). The first modern museums of art: The birth of an institution in 18th-and early-19th-century Europe. Getty Publications.

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StudyCorgi. "Uffizi Gallery: Art Museum Installation Styles Evolvement." August 23, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/uffizi-gallery-art-museum-installation-styles-evolvement/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Uffizi Gallery: Art Museum Installation Styles Evolvement." August 23, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/uffizi-gallery-art-museum-installation-styles-evolvement/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Uffizi Gallery: Art Museum Installation Styles Evolvement'. 23 August.

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