Culture Is Everywhere.
George Kubler begins his book The Shape of Time with the observation: "Let us suppose that the idea of art can be expanded to embrace the whole range of man-made things, including all tools and writing in addition to the useless, beautiful, and poetic things of the world. By this view the universe of man-made things simply coincides with the history of art." Without getting into lengthy and complicated arguments, in their book, Culture Is Everywhere, Victor Margolin and Patty Carroll have presented us with the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, an unusual institution whose objects come from all over the world: souvenirs, decorative art, folk art, commercial art and designed objects. In her essay, Hannah Higgins states: "what has been driven out of the halls of the art museums and academic discourse has found a place in the exhibitionary order of everyday, commercial life." This is a wonderful book containing photographs of snow domes, sleeping Mexicans, Statue of Liberty, beer steins, Eiffel Tower, gondolas, salt-and-pepper shakers, ties and T-shirts. What it does is call our attention to everyday objects in our lives. Teachers can encourage students to collect and display items that they encounter daily. In organizing these displays, they will face problems in discerning, organizing, and later, storing these objects. It's an effective means for students realizing what museums are about.--J.J.H.
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