Art History 1
Museums as a Ritual
In the article “The Art Museum As Rital,” in Civilizing Rituals: Inside Public Art Museums by Carol Duncan, she compares art museums to religious seculars in the sense that they are not only similar in architecture, but also in their meaning and purpose; rituality. She goes on to state that unlike churches and other various places of worship, museums are also secular places. At such places, “the secular truth became the authoritative truth.” When I went to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts, I could not help but relate to what Carol Duncan had stated in her article. Since visiting the museum, I do believe art museums compare to religious seculars in many aspects. As I walked into the museum and right up the stairs, it almost took my breath away, like how the stain glass windows did in church all those early Sunday mornings when I was a kid; it just looked so peaceful, so serene. As I continued to ascend the grand stair case to the second floor, I could not help but notice all the different sculptures that aligned the sides of the stair case. It reminded me of all the times I saw sculptures of Jesus and the Mother Mary on the alter in church. In the structural aspect of the art museum, I am now convinced it most definitely compares to religious seculars. Another aspect I found comparable at the museum to religious seculars was the meaning. As I toured the rooms of the Ancient Greek sculptures and the Ancient Egyptian sculptures, I could not help but feel connected to these people that lived so long ago. I felt and saw real meaning in the artifacts I came across. Nothing is ever actually “real” until you see it, until you make that connection to the object. For example, as I walked through the Ancient Roman and Ancient Greek rooms, I came across sculptures of people that were important in that period of time, important figures that people worshiped. I found meaning in these sculptures because although I do...
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