A few months ago the National Endowment for the Arts released a rather bleak Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, indicating that although museums were faring better than other cultural institutions, attendance at art museums and galleries was down to 22.7 percent of the adult population in 2008, from a high of 26.7 percent in 1992. Frankly, I think there can be too much anxiety about that missing 4 percent. We are not selling Pepsi here. We are selling the experience of [Paolo] Veronese. Anybody running an arts organization must attend to the bottom line: we can all agree about that. What I would like to hear from more museum directors is an insistence that in a country as wealthy as this one—and this is still a rich country, recession or no recession—museums have an obligation to present the finest work in the most uncompromising way, because in the long run that is how you sustain a culture.
(Via: The Browser )