Institutional critique : artists focus on museological issues.
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This thesis looks at important issues facing American museums through a form art called "institutional critique." Institutional critique artwork can be defined broadly as artwork of varying mediums that offer criticism of museums or galleries, referring sometimes to an institution as a whole and at others to specific practices. This thesis makes the case that institutional critique artwork is one tool that can help us to understand the problems facing museums today. In particular, institutional critique artwork can highlight problems museums have with collections, boards of trustees, corporate sponsorship, museum architecture, and education/ visitor experiences. Recent literature on the subject has contextualized institutional critique artwork in regards to art history, but so far has failed to utilize it as a museum studies tool. The museum community has – and continues to – address these problems, but these artists can express in often vivid form what are sometimes seemingly dry museological issues.