Friday 23 October 2015

Label, label, on the wall

This - from LACMA - was one of my favourite wall labels from my trip. Something about the proportion of real estate given to institutional wrangling compared to the art work really caught my fancy.

Did you know wall labels as we know them were introduced in the 1830s by Gustav Friedrich Waagen, the first director of the Royal Museum in Berlin? Or that titles for artworks became common only with the advent of the art market and public museum in the 18th century?

Me neither. Probably should've, really. But now you can read all about it in this piece by Jill Sterrett, Director of Collections at SFMOMA. The article also contains a handy visual breakdown of the properties of a wall label (which is in itself a direct argument for telling the stories, not just providing the tombstone data).

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