Why the Museum

written by Boris Groys

photo Riverside Museum of Transport

The number of art museums is growing all over the world. And the number of museum visitors is also growing. However, it is no secret that museums are increasingly losing their traditional social legitimation. For a very long time, art museums were the primary source of information about art for the general public. Today this is no longer the case. The media have taken over this role – especially the Internet. On the Internet one can easily find every kind of information about art, past and present. So-called art lovers no longer have to visit art – instead, art visits them, comes to their computer screens. And the virtual depositories of art images are obviously much more compact and much cheaper to maintain than traditional art museums.