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Title: The Museum of Modern Art, Oxford (1965-1982) : exhibitions, spectatorship and social change
Author: Floe, Hilary Tyndall
ISNI:       0000 0004 6498 1741
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis examines the first seventeen years of the history of the Museum of Modern Art Oxford (MOMA), from its founding in 1965 until c. 1982. It is concerned with the changing relationships between the museum and its audience, focusing on those aspects of the museum's programming that shed light on its role as a public mediator of recent art. This provides a means to consider the underlying values and commitments that informed MOMA's emergence as a leading contemporary art institution. Chapter one examines the museum's relationship to utopian countercultures through the metaphor of the museum as 'garden'; chapter two considers the erstwhile 'permanent' collection and its connection to corporate patronage; chapter three investigates the parallel forces of institutional critique and institutionalization; and chapter four addresses didactic strains in the museum's representation of an emergent multiculturalism. Although dedicated to the history of a single regional gallery, the thematic structure of the thesis provides entry points into historical and theoretical issues of broader relevance. It is based on primary research in the previously neglected archive of what is now known as Modern Art Oxford, supplemented by interviews with artists and former staff members, and by close attention to British art periodicals and exhibition catalogues of the period. It is also informed by critical writings on museums and displays, and by artistic, social and museological histories, allowing the museum's activities to be situated within the cultural politics of these turbulent decades. The thesis suggests that institutional identity - as exemplified by the history of MOMA from 1965-1982 - is porous and discontinuous: the development of the museum over this period is animated by multiple and often contradictory ideals, continuously shaped by pragmatic considerations, and subject to a rich variety of subjective responses.
Supervisor: Gaiger, Jason ; Taylor, Brandon Sponsor: University of Oxford ; Modern Art Oxford
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: History of Art ; British History ; Museology ; 1960s Art ; Postwar Britain ; 1970s Art ; Cultural history ; Exhibition history