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The Art of Seeing: An Interpretation of the Aesthetic Encounter


reviewed by David Carr 1992

coverTitle: The Art of Seeing: An Interpretation of the Aesthetic Encounter
Author(s): Mihalyi Csikszentmihaly
Publisher: J. Paul Getty Museum Publications, Los Angeles
ISBN: 0892361565, Pages: 203, Year: 1991
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The voices of museum curators assembled in this investigation of aesthetic experience confirm that museums of art especially hold splendid, challenging artifacts intensely invested over time with passionate meanings. Most exquisitely, these are the meanings of their makers. Here, however, the meanings of objects are constructed by curators privileged to touch them, who spend their lives in their intimate presence and who offer them under glass to the user. The curatorial gaze informs the largest part of this study, and we find it a mixed, sometimes contradictory vision, grounded at once in visceral stories, intrigues, and romances—and in more intellectual understandings of biography and development, aesthetic intention, theory and ideology. The visceral and sensuous expressions recorded by the authors reveal the difference between seeing-at-a-distance and the tactile cognition offered by one curator: “You can’t really appreciate them without touching them. You don’t understand half of a Greek vase without picking it... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 93 Number 4, 1992, p. 758-761
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 267, Date Accessed: 12/17/2017 2:43:19 PM

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