The silent observer…

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Week 8 Blog Post

In reading Dobrzynski (2013) I was drawn to her idea that the thrill of simply being in the presence of great art is nearly gone for most people. I agree with this statement as I am coming from a position of enjoying, from lack of a better term, classical works of art. I am not really a big appreciator of modern art like those Dobrzynski describes in her article, though I do respect the work that goes into it, and other people’s opinions on the matter. I also cannot claim to be a student of art, so I do not know much about it. I just like what I like.

When I think about museums, art museums in particular, I think of a peaceful place to consider the piece in front of you. Modern art museums, specialty museums and cultural centers always seem to have a more interactive environment, and the subject matter of the exhibits tend to encourage such behavior. There is certainly a call for such spaces, patrons enjoy seeing, feeling, and doing and it makes these space more entertaining for those who are looking for more and those who appreciate those types of spaces.

From my perspective, the real difficulty with participatory museums and other cultural spaces is that the silent observer is taken out of their comfort zone and the experience would be less than ideal. There is place for both the silent and active observers in participatory spaces. Libraries and museums have been adapting more to interactive services, but they have also been creating spaces for both traditional and non-traditional environments.

Dobrzynski, J. (2013). “High Culture Goes Hands On.” New York Times. Retrieved from


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