Art History and Its Institutions: The Nineteenth Century by Elizabeth Mansfield

By Elizabeth Mansfield

Artwork heritage and Its associations makes a speciality of the institutional discourses that formed and proceed to form the sector from its origin within the 19th century. From museums and universities to legislations courts, exertions corporations and images studios, members research quite a number associations, contemplating their impression on activities similar to modernism, their position in conveying or denying legitimacy, and their impression of defining the parameters of the self-discipline.

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My description – and insistence upon a mensurable institutional life – more or less accords with the definition given in the Oxford English Dictionary: “An established law, custom, usage, practice, organization, or other element in the political or social life of a people” [emphasis mine]. OED Online, “institution,” section 6a. L. Althusser, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes towards an Investigation),” in Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays, New York, Monthly Review Press, 1971 [essay orig.

The amassing of artworks in the museum brings them into communication with commodities, which – where they offer themselves en masse to passerby – awake in him the notion that some part of this should fall to him as well. Walter Benjamin, The Arcades Project It was the cathedral of modern business, strong and yet light, built for vast crowds of customers. In the central gallery on the ground floor, after the bargains near the door, came the tie, glove, and silk departments; … and … a colossal gallery decorated with excessive luxury, in which he even ventured to hold picture exhibitions.

12 R. Fry, Art-History as an Academic Study, address delivered 18 October 1933, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1933, p. 8. 13 Fry, Art-History, p. 10. 14 Fry, Art-History, pp. 37–8. 15 Fry, Art-History, p. 48. 16 R. Fry, “Art and Life,” in Vision and Design, New York, Meridian, 1974 [orig. 1920], pp. 14–15. 17 Similarly, Heinrich Dilly explores the ramifications of art history as an institution, but not as a subject of institutions in Kunstgeschichte als Institution. 18 Althusser, “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses,” pp.

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