Sunday, May 31, 2009

Visting the Chicago Art Institute

On May 17 the Chicago Art Institute opened its new modern wing, an expansion that increased display space by about 30%. In honor of this occasion they offered free admission for the week. My son and I went to visit on different days and compared notes. He asked how does one catalog art that has no title. I said by the artist's name. Then I got to thinking that the name was not enough and so I asked my fellow catalogers via Autocat how it is done. Since cataloging art is so different from cataloging books, published media or even manuscripts all sorts of ideas ran through my mind. I decided to create an imaginary and humorous review of some untitled art works complete with a full bibliographic description of each work and fictional reference works. Watch this space for the finished article.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Visit to the Illinois Holocaust Museum

On Sunday (May 10) my son and I went to the Illinois Holocaust Museum. The building is very impressive. On the left is a picture of the back. Strange, this is the street side with the name on the wall. The entrance is on the side away from the street. Before entering they make you walk through a metal detector. The guard at the entrance told us that no photography was allowed, but there are no posted signs. It bothers me that a museum dedicated to remembering does not allow me to take pictures to remember my visit. They don't have many artifacts. Most of the floor space is taken by video screens, photographs, and printed information. A long time ago people thought that flash pictures would harm museum artifacts. This has been proven to be inconsequential. The amount of light from electronic flashes is so brief that it would take thousands to equal the background light. If there were a lot of flashes it could bother other visitors, but the museum was not very crowded.

Is any one else bothered by the prohibition on taking pictures?