THE SIXTY-NINTH STREET BRANCH OF THE PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART: A RESPONSE TO MUSEUM THEORY AND DESIGN
|West, Ashley D.
|Glasscock, Ann Marie
|By the 1920s, ideas about the function and appearance of the American art museum were shifting such that they no longer were perceived to be merely storehouses of art. Rather, they were meant to fill a present democratic need of reaching out to the public and actively helping to cultivate the tastes and knowledge of a desired culturally literate citizen. As a result of debates about the museum's mission, audience, and design, in 1931 the Philadelphia Museum of Art opened the first branch museum in the nation on 69th Street in the suburb of Upper Darby in an effort to improve the relationship between the museum and the community. With sponsorship by its parent institution and financing by the Carnegie Corporation of New York City, the two organizations hoped to determine, over a five-year period, whether branch museums, like branch libraries, would be equally successful and valuable in reaching out to the public, both physically and intellectually. The new Sixty-ninth Street Branch Museum was to serve as a valuable mechanism for civic education by encouraging citizens to think constructively about art and for the development of aesthetic satisfaction, but more importantly it was to be a catalyst for social change by integrating the visual arts into the daily life of the community. In this thesis I will demonstrate that, although the first branch museum was only open for a year and a half, it nonetheless succeeded in shaping the way people thought about art and how museums were meant to function as democratic institutions in American society.
|Temple University. Libraries
|Theses and Dissertations
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|THE SIXTY-NINTH STREET BRANCH OF THE PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART: A RESPONSE TO MUSEUM THEORY AND DESIGN
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