Episode 162: James Cuno

October 5, 2008 · Print This Article

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This week Duncan and Richard talk with the Director and President of the Art Institute of Chicago, James Cuno. They talk about his new book, the new wing of the Art Institute opening in May, and a bit of baseball talk thrown in to boot!

James Cuno is president and director of the Art Institute of Chicago and former director of the Courtauld Institute of Art and the Harvard University Art Museums. He has written widely on museums and cultural policy. His books include “Whose Muse?: Art Museums and the Public’s Trust” and his latest “Who Owns Antiquity?: Museums and the Battle Over Our Ancient Heritage, (Princeton).

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Direct download: Bad_at_Sports_Episode_162-James_Cuno.mp3

8 Responses to “Episode 162: James Cuno”

  1. Did you ask Cuno why SAIC alumni no longer get into the museum for free? The sixty thousand dollar degree doesn’t buy the price of admission.

  2. Tony Fitzpatrick Says:

    Maybe someone should ask Mr. Cuno if he realizes how many people a 20-dollar admission excludes from the experience of seeing art.

  3. Cuno’s a good guy and I disagree with him.

    Taking significant cultural artifacts and displaying them elsewhere is globalism gone berserk.

    Yes, nationalism is bad (as differentiated from patriotism), but acknowledging and being able to readily visit the antecedents of one’s heritage is of paramount importance.

    A better notion is a balance, whereby antiquities may be found where they “fell” as well as where they’ve been accumulated.

    Or would Cuno prefer Grant’s Tomb should go to Les Invalides, and London Bridge should hang in Arizona???????????

  4. Most SAIC students are bankrolled rich kids and should be paying their own way in out of love for their alma mater.

    Besides, there is a free day. Come then if you don’t have the cash.

  5. Tony Fitzpatrick Says:

    Mr. Cuno’s being an apologist for the looting of other country’s cultural artifacts ‘because we can take better care of them’ rings hollow. How many cultural riches have been stolen with this argument in mind?…. It is cultural colonialism.

  6. And although sometimes they are better taken care of, think of Lord Elgin’s loss of a large part of the “retrieved” marbles from the Acropolis, which sank at sea during their “relocation” to the UK.

  7. A Greek-American here (born Dizikes) who’d rather go see the Elgin Marbles at the Parthenon.

    For all Cuno’s discussion of the lameness of Greek Nationalism, he fails to mention British Nationalism! Why exactly do they want to hold onto the marbles? Partly financial-tourist dollars and of course national pride, to have that kind of symbol of Western Civilization on their turf!

    Sorry, but his argument seems so self-serving, very depressing…

  8. Museums are so quaint, and so are zoos, I like the popcorn and smells. Have you ever tried to get on a boat that wasn’t tied to the dock, this argument strikes me so. Speaking of instrument size, what ever happened to Chicago’s Gastr del sol? Alphabetized by artist, Laurie Anderson, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Little Richard and Lou Reed make a sandwich…! Thanks again for the noises in my head, they make me happy.

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