International Journal of Art & Design Education

Critical Studies and the Museum of Contemporary Art

Volume 6.2   1987



Identifying the scarcity of museum-directed programmes of popular education in art, in the context of the development of the ‘critical studies’ movement in art education in Britain, the author calls for museums of art to have whole-time and positive (rather than occasional and passive) educational purposes. These should involve the presentation of the host of aesthetic, material, theoretical, religious, historical, social, political, economic, and other phenomena attendant upon works of art. He argues that they should engage in activities that attach relevant meaning to their artworks, that is, to their actual forms and their palpable material properties, and prise them away from their association with the levelling properties of chromolithography and video through which art is mediated to the general population.