The museum in times of revolution: Regarding Nemesio Antúnez’s transformation program for Chile’s Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, 1969-1973

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

During the government of the Unidad Popular (UP, 1970-1973), when democratically elected President Salvador Allende established socialism in Chile, museums underwent an important transformation directly related to the historical and political context in which they existed. A key antecedent in this cultural transformation process was a program developed by Nemesio Antúnez, beginning in 1969. As director of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Antúnez rethought the role and significance of the museum through a series of conceptual interventions by recognized artists such as Luis Camnitzer, Liliana Porter, Juan Pablo Langlois, Cecilia Vicuña, Valentina Cruz, and Gordon Matta-Clark. His ideals coincide with those expressed at the meeting of the International Committee on Museums that took place in Santiago in 1972, at which the necessity of a new living or dynamic museum was affirmed. During the period of the UP, revolutionary initiatives and transformations in the way of conceiving the museum stood out, important changes that were truncated by the coup d’état and the beginning of the military dictatorship in Chile. This chapter is about a particular episode that permits consideration of the historical relationship that has existed between museums and revolutions in Latin America and is a reflection on the function of museums in society.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArt Museums of Latin America
Subtitle of host publicationStructuring Representation
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages236-250
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781351777919
ISBN (Print)9781138712591
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

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