A Discussion on "The Unethical Art Museum"

Moderated by Art History Professor Alan Wallach


Rounding out his semester program, “The Future of Art in Modern Culture,” Art and Art History Professor Alan Wallach lead a conversation about museum ethics over lunch on Friday, December 9. To set the stage, Professor Wallach provided one of his own papers, “The Unethical Art Museum,” for the audience of W&M in Washington Program students and DC alumni to read. James Demetrion, former director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, served as respondent.

Professor Wallach began by explaining the basics of his paper and introducing Mr. Demetrion. Professor Wallach continued the dialogue by presenting arguments against letting universities sell paintings to raise funds for the university as a whole. Mr. Demetrion responded, noting that universities are not subject to the same regulations as a museum.

As the two wrapped up their debate, the audience was encouraged to ask questions. After a lively Q&A, the discussion concluded, leaving the audience with much to think about.