Monday, September 22, 2008

Dahesh Museum Collections Go West

For those missing and/or wondering about the Dahesh Museum of Art formerly located in Manhattan, two shows are on view on the west coast. In a general overiew of "Oasis: Western Dreams of the Ottoman Empire" newly opened at the Tacoma Art Museum, Dr. Flora Edouwaye S. Kaplan, Director of Dahesh Museum of Art offers this comment, “European and American painters, photographers, and sculptors of this movement represented others in Eastern settings. Their dreams, fancy, and fascination with accuracy would later be seen as ‘Orientalism,’ a relatively crude criticism for complex and unequal relationships between artists and their subjects everywhere.”

The idea of a "fascination with accuracy" as a justification for Orientalism has always interested and disturbed me. "Accuracy" certainly creates an orientalish quagmire: who defines accuracy, subject or observer, particularly when the subject is given no voice? I do miss the Dahesh Museum though. Their Napoleon exhibit is at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.