Unmet expectations

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Disappointing Art, propped up by popular tourism

I have seen so much art purely because it was the "thing to do." The Mona Lisa in Paris, the Astronomical Clock in Prague, the Liberty Bell in Pennsylvania and the list goes on. There are so many objects that have hype from millions of witnesses, that severely under deliver in reality. Yes, the history, the groundbreaking advances made in their relative time periods and the new technologies may be truly amazing; but in the context of 2016, there are expectations that remain unmet. Do we appreciate these types of art for their inherent value and significance, or are we motivated by taking a selfie and tagging our photo so our friends know we went somewhere famous? Do we travel to the Louvre, to be captivated by the the Mona Lisa, and marvel at the gentle application of brush strokes, or is it just a good story to tell grandma when we get home?

  • What would be the contrast to this? Are there any works of art that over deliver that aren't hyped by tourism? Or could the disappointment come from overly high expectations due to the stories of their cultural significance? – Kevin 8 years ago
  • Here in NYC, MoMA is home to Van Gogh's Starry Night. The fifth floor of the museum is always crowded with tourists wanting a selfie with this painting. If you ask many art patrons they will NOT consider Starry Night to be one of their favorites in the museum's collection. However the image is so omnipresent and "famous" that the gallery becomes a site for a photo op rather than contemplation of the artwork. Something worth noting in reference to Kevin's point is there is actually a second Starry Night (Over the Rhone). This painting at Musée d'Orsay in Paris does not garner the same fanfare as the version at MoMA. – Anthony 7 years ago