This week’s reading was interesting in that it almost sounded like an instruction manual on how to set up a museum (at least to me.) With the way the author narrates the article, this could very well prove to become something like “Museums for Dummies.”
Anyways, what I found most interesting was the discussion in part one about related works. The reading describes related works as having important conceptual relationship with each other, and are most relevant for works with multiple parts, works of architecture, collections of works, and works in a series. The article goes to say that it is most important to record works that have a direct relationship with the work of art being cataloged, especially when the connection is not obvious i.e. works by the same artist or with the same subject are apparent, but if one of these works is “preparatory for another,” that connection is not as apparent and must be recorded. In order to aid this, the CCO recommends distinguishing between intrinsic relationships–relationships that enable effective searches, such as by artist or subject–and extrinsic relationships–where two or more works have a relationship that is informative, but not essential either physically or logically in identifying either of the works.
When I read this, I couldn’t help but recall my trip to the Broad for my museum report this past week, where I couldn’t up but ask myself while walking around, why were certain pieces placed in the same room as other pieces–along with, “Why is there a taxidermy sheep in a tank of water in the middle of this room?” If they are from different artists, what connection do they have with one another? What does a golden urinal have to do with the with Barbara Kruger? Why are certain pieces chosen to be in a room of their own? This weeks reading hinted at some possible answers to this; perhaps some of these works held extrinsic relationships that art-newbies, such as myself, could not identify right off the bat.