We posed this and the other four key Great British Art Debate questions to our keen debate fiends over on facebook. Here are some of their thoughts:
Almost certainly not. There’s a false democracy which I suspect the present government is only going to push forward – which pretends that ‘everyone’ should have a say. Problem is, who feels like they have the right to speak? The big issue with museums and galleries is that not everyone feels comfortable going to them (and I speak from my own experience rather than a ‘museologist’ – the people who speak most on this matter and have the least to say). Think about the proposed ‘free schools’ – the idea that everyone can set up schools and shape them according to their own need sounds nice, but who are the people who have the economic and social confidence to get moving with a project like that… Toby Young, that’s who! Guess it’s a predictable answer from someone who gets paid for doing this, but I think that museums need a ‘professional class’ to manage them, and deliver stuff, but that this professional class need to be informed and aware and responsible, and that means politically self-conscious, about what we do. I’m not pretending that’s the case, though, at least from what I’ve seen…
– Martin Myrone, Tate Curator
Of course they should!
Not a casting vote, but certainly part of the decision process. Look at the fourth Plinth project that had public involvement. Refusal indicates possible elitism. The Art world when selecting public art needs the public on side just at the public needs the public Art working together to enhance and improve our towns, cities and countryside. Creating inspirational, visionary spaces such as Gormely’s ‘Another Place’. So it should be with the museum space.
– MO, Facebook
No, they shouldn’t. Contrary to the popular belief, love of art is not something one is born with, but something you earn as you get along. To have an opinion on something, one has to start by gaining knowledge and experience and with that a voice. First people need to be educated on how to look for beauty in art.
– AL, Facebook
What do you think?