The Museum is not meant either for the wanderer to see by accident or for the pilgrim to see with awe. It is meant for the mere slave of a routine of self-education to stuff himself with every sort of incongruous intellectual food in one indigestible meal.
Author: Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936)
Profession: British Author
The Louver is a morgue; you go there to identify your friends.
Author: Jean Cocteau (1889-1963)
Profession: French Author, Filmmaker
That which, perhaps, hears more nonsense than anything in the world, is a picture in a museum.
Author: Edmond and Jules De Goncourt (1822-1896)
Profession: French Writers
Yesterday I went out at about twelve, and visited the British Museum; an exceedingly tiresome affair. It quite crushes a person to see so much at once; and I wandered from hall to hall with a weary and heavy heart, wishing (Heaven forgive me!) that the Elgin marbles and the frieze of the Parthenon were all burnt into lime, and that the granite Egyptian statues were hewn and squared into building stones, and that the mummies had all turned to dust, two thousand years ago; and, in fine, that all the material relics of so many successive ages had disappeared with the generations that produced them. The present is burthened too much with the past.
Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)
Profession: American Novelist, Short Story Writer
Individually, museums are fine institutions, dedicated to the high values of preservation, education and truth; collectively, their growth in numbers points to the imaginative death of this country.
Author: Robert Hewison (1943)
Profession: British Cultural Historian
In museums and palaces we are alternate radicals and conservatives.
Author: Henry James (1843-1916)
Profession: American Author
Museums and art stores are also sources of pleasure and inspiration. Doubtless it will seem strange to many that the hand unaided by sight can feel action, sentiment, beauty in the cold marble; and yet it is true that I derive genuine pleasure from touching great works of art. As my finger tips trace line and curve, they discover the thought and emotion which the artist has portrayed.
Author: Helen Keller (1880-1968)
Profession: American Blind/Deaf Author, Lecturer, Amorist
I never can pass by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York without thinking of it not as a gallery of living portraits but as a cemetery of tax-deductible wealth.
Author: Lewis H. Lapham (1935)
Profession: American Essayist, Editor
Museums, museums, museums, object-lessons rigged out to illustrate the unsound theories of archaeologists, crazy attempts to co-ordinate and get into a fixed order that which has no fixed order and will not be co-coordinated! It is sickening! Why must all experience be systematized? A museum is not a first-hand contact: it is an illustrated lecture. And what one wants is the actual vital touch.
Author: D. H. Lawrence (1885-1930)
Profession: British Author
Nothing seems more like a whorehouse to me than a museum. In it you find the same equivocal aspect, the same frozen quality.
Author: Michel Leiris (1901-1990)
Profession: French Anthropologist, Author
Attitudes to museums have changed. If it had Marilyn Monroe's knickers or Laurence Olivier's jockstrap they would flock to it.
Author: Jonathan Miller (1934)
Profession: British Actor, Director
Museums are just a lot of lies, and the people who make art their business are mostly imposters. We have infected the pictures in museums with all our stupidities, all our mistakes, all our poverty of spirit. We have turned them into petty and ridiculous things.
Author: Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Profession: Spanish Artist