Why we need to dust off the drawing board: the tale of The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

An endorsement of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art:


It’s time for a little history. Museums have been around for almost as long as recorded history, used as historical resources for the educated elite, like the Musaeum of Alexandria (which included the famous Library) dating from around the 3rd century BCE. Art museums, however, have a significantly shorter history, art having been almost exclusively kept in private collections and archaeological museums until the 15th century. The Pope, of all people, ushered in the era of “public” art collection – primarily sculpture – during the Renaissance and was followed by an influx of public University art collections. The 18th century brought about the golden age of the familiar art museum in the form of a free-standing building with its own collection, Board, and funding. This era brought us the British Museum, the Uffizi Gallery, The Hermitage Museum, The Louvre, and even the Charleston Museum two years before…

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Author: Camara Dia Holloway

I am an art historian specializing in early twentieth century American art with particular focus on the history of photography, race and representation, and transatlantic modernist networks. I earned my PhD at Yale University in the History of Art Department. Besides my leadership role as the Founding Co-Director of the Association for Critical Race Art History (ACRAH), I am recognized for my expertise on African American Art, particularly African American Photography, and as a seasoned consultant for exhibitions, museum collections, and symposia/lectures planning.

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