Tyler Green noted last week that the Art Institute Chicago has decided to scale back some of its admissions prices for certain groups of Chicago residents. In doing so he draws some connections between this policy, and the arguments James Cuno has made about the proper place for art and antiquities. I made a similar kind of point last week, and Green argues the rate reductions don’t really sit well with this Cosmopolitan view of heritage:
All of these rollbacks are for Chicago (city) residents only. In other words: For the AIC, providing access to the cultural treasures in its store isn’t a priority… but a quick-sorta-fix for the sake of narrow political expediency was.
That’s kind of ironic given that AIC director Jim Cuno is well-known for arguing that it really doesn’t matter where antiquities are because they’re part of our shared, global cultural heritage. Well, there are tens of thousands of other objects at the AIC that are part of our shared cultural heritage too. It’s too bad that the AIC refuses to make broader public access to those treasures a priority . . .