World Art Museum: Near future or mere utopia? A research into the theoretical possibilities of constructing a world art presentation
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One of the major challenges facing art history today is the issue of globalization with its cultural implications - both regarding retrospective historical narratives and contemporary methods. As scholarship and museum audiences alike are becoming more and more internationalized, a (self-)critical analysis of disciplinary standpoints seems more important than ever and is at the center of ongoing discussions within and beyond academia. World Art Studies, a concept and approach first proposed by Prof. John Onions of the Norwich University of East Anglia in 1996, aims to do what musicology does for music, linguistics for language and religious studies for religion: to study art from all relevant disciplinary viewpoints imaginable, ranging from evolutionary biology to analytic philosophy. In this thesis, I search for answers to why the art of the world is still scattered over a range of museums and whether World Art Studies could provide a basis for intercultural comparison in presentations. Therefore I will analyze the Dutch international discourse, followed by a look into the theoretical possibilities of constructing a world art presentation, and then close with an exhibition proposal.