Enter through Real Life, exit in Nude

March 24, 2000

The Tate's decision to organise its collection around themes rather than around dates is academically sensible.

It is a transparent and convenient method of organising artworks and one that doesn't immediately appear too scholarly. It is, in short, a friendly approach.

And it is an idea other museums are also exploring. An exhibition called "1900", organised by the Royal Academy and shortly to open at the Guggenheim in New York, also sub-divides its content by genre: "A room of portraits", "A room of beautiful women", "A room of still lives" and so on. In putting this exhibition together, the Royal Academy was guided by the American art historian Robert Rosenblum, a man whom I understand to have championed this approach.

So the Tate is getting it right, but not so much breaking new ground as sharing good practice.

Stephen Farthing is Ruskin master of drawing, Oxford University. His book, The Intelligent Person's Guide to Modern Art, will be published by Duckworth in May.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns