Archives as artifact for art analysis: a study of the benefits of including archival material in art exhibits

John Biesiadecki
2020
Upon examining definitions of Cultural Heritage as proposed by some of the discipline's primary scholars, one can derive the necessary classifications and objectives that make certain institutions examples of cultural heritage institutions. By virtue of promoting the education of art history and art analysis, the objectives of art museums and exhibits align with the objectives of cultural heritage institutions, thus making art museums and exhibits examples of cultural heritage institutions.
more » ... e institutions. This paper proposes that the incorporation of relevant archival material into art exhibits can promote art history and art analysis, thus aiding art museums and art exhibits achieve the status of cultural heritage institution. This proposal is supported by two case studies exhibiting the art of Thomas Cole and other artists associated with The Hudson River School of American landscape painters. One case study is on the Thomas Cole National Historic Site which incorporates archival material into its gallery spaces and the other case study is on the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts' exhibit on the Schuylkill River School of American landscape painters which does not incorporate archival material into its gallery spaces. Comparing and contrasting the effectiveness of both exhibits' ability to provide comprehensive art analysis reveals that an art exhibit with information from archival material better promotes the objectives of the exhibit, thus elevating the exhibit to the status of a cultural heritage institution.
doi:10.7282/t3-ha72-v780 fatcat:geq6tlv3jbbuxlvgsu24gg5dqi