Analysis of the art gallery of ontario

Consider the following questions in your analysis of the AGO

Is a visit to the AGO a ritual? IF so, what about your movement through the space shapes the experience in a ritual frame? How is the visit ideologically inflected? Does the museum encourage a sense of belonging or of exclusion?

Are there components of the universal survey museum at the AGO? Which permanent exhibits in the museum seem to depart from this model? How is Canadian art is situated? Is it linked to a European or U.S. canon of works? Is it viewed as autonomous? How are First Nations or indigenous artefacts linked, or not, to the universal narrative of art history? To Canadian art? Terms that you should use in your essay include: art historical canon universal survey ideology post-colonial museology chronology or chronological school European Canadian .


Reading 1: Carol Duncan and Allan Wallach, “The Universal Survey Museum,” Art History 3 no. 4 (1980): 448-469. (see PDF in Quercus Module) Visit to the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto

Description of the Assignment: In your essay, test Duncan and Wallach’s arguments against the contents of the Art Gallery of Ontario’s permanent collection galleries in general and three spaces we have identified in particular. You do not need to summarize and analyze Duncan and Wallace’s argument about the structure and function of the museum’s typical art historical function in detail, but do pay particular attention to the underlying ideological motivations of the museum as you analyze the AGO’s self-presentation (architecturally and in wall texts).

Which parts of the AGO are you responsible for? Not all of it!!! We have marked on a plan attached to this document 3 spaces on the ground floor that you should take into consideration in your detailed analysis of the issues raised by the Duncan and Wallach essay.




Sample Solution