chapter  8
3 Pages

Epilogue

Heritology, a new discipline for the study of public art and museums in cultural districts
ByJ. Pedro Lorente

This book has discussed pairs of diverse paradigms in the urban clustering of art. The starting point was the paramuseal showcasing of antiquities on the thresholds of the first public museums, followed by the erection of perimuseal monuments as landmarks of cultural hearts. In the second part, modern trends of suburban expansion have been interpreted in light of two inheritances from the classical mouseion, the hilly ideal of a ‘city crown’ and the green sculpture gardens. The postmodern return to the inner cities has been dealt with in the third part, with a double thread: on the one hand, the development of so-called open air museums in urban revitalization processes gathering artworks, from sculptures to street art; on the one hand, the dialectics between Conceptual art installations placed in front of museums as expression of institutional critique and the reverse policies of using populist monumental artworks as publicity stunts, which was then brought to a synthesis, arguing for a socially engaged outreach of museums in the public realm. Unlike other recent publications about this latter argument, more keen on performances and temporary interventions, it has been chosen here to focus on permanent or long-term displays for the sake of a coherent historical overview. But by no means is it intended to establish comparisons in terms of better or worse, as every model of interplay between museums and public art should be appreciated as a worthy cultural legacy. In fact, all of them are still very influential today, as it is made clear in the overlapping chronologies of the successive chapters of this volume, which is not structured as a single teleological narrative.