Training aesthetic perception: John Dewey on the educational role of art museums

Educational Theory 54 (4):399-417 (2004)
Abstract
In this article I examine Dewey's ambivalent attitude toward art museums — criticizing their existence as repositories for the rich, while exploring their educational potential — by analyzing Dewey's comments on museums in various texts, by relating his ideas to museum education theories and practice of the time, and by exploring his involvement with Albert Barnes and the Barnes Foundation. Specifically, I discuss how these men influenced each other and consider possible reasons for Dewey's involvement with a “capitalist collector” such as Barnes. This examination is placed within the broader context of Dewey's philosophy of art as experience. An analysis of these issues is especially relevant at the present time, given that museums are increasingly involved in K‐12 education through outreach and professional development programs, in addition to school tours
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