chapter  5
Suspended
Art in the threshold
ByPeter Ride
Pages 26

This chapter examines how the artwork in the threshold is a window in reverse – a window into the museum. It explores a series of examples that illustrate ways in which artworks in the museum threshold can be seen to function as metaphors for the museum itself. In some of the examples, artwork is literally suspended, but the significance lies in the way that artwork can metaphorically suspend meaning that the visitor then awakens and engages with as they journey through the threshold into the museum. The Msheireb Museum in Qatar consists of various historic houses in the heart of Msheireb district, the 'Old Town' of Doha. Where the power of the Msheireb artwork as a metaphor lies in its subtlety, in other museums the metaphorical meanings of the artwork can operate as a bold statement. A sculpture at the Seattle Museum of History and Industry demonstrates how an artwork can operate as site-specific.