Buying Respectability: Philanthropy and Urban Society in by Thomas Adam

By Thomas Adam

In 19th-century Leipzig, Toronto, long island, and Boston, a newly emergent workforce of industrialists and marketers entered into pageant with older demonstrated elite teams for social popularity in addition to cultural and political management. the contest was once performed out at the box of philanthropy, with the North American neighborhood amassing rules from Europe concerning the institution of cultural and public associations. for instance, to safe financing for his or her new museum, the founders of the Metropolitan Museum of artwork geared up its club and fundraising at the version of German paintings museums. the method of cultural borrowing and intercultural move formed city landscapes with the construction of latest libraries, museums, and social housing initiatives. an immense contribution to the particularly new box of transnational background, this publication establishes philanthropy as a main instance of the conversion of monetary assets into social and cultural capital.

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However, while the Leipzig organizers thought that two classes were sufficient, New York’s organizers insisted on three. 43 This becomes evident in the decision to include “applied art” to the collections of the museum.  The Old Museum in Berlin, ca. 1910. Courtesy of Landesarchiv Berlin, Fotosammlung. 45 Comfort’s chief concerns were teaching, collaboration with artistic education, and integration of the museum into higher education. The Berlin museum, which was built in close proximity to the Academy of Fine Arts, impressed Comfort deeply.

In short, German museums were meant to educate the intellectual visitor while American museums were meant to entertain both educated and uneducated citizens. ”66 This report, written in German and intended to provide a material basis for the reorganization of museums, influenced the practical work in museums in Germany less than it did in North America. 67 These two texts thus provided the North American reader with a survey of American, British, French, and Belgian museums. This publication inspired Walker to urge the provincial government of Ontario and the board of governors of the University of Toronto to establish a museum that would give a home to the already existing archaeological, geological, mineralogical, paleontological, and zoological collections.

By establishing their own art scene, burghers claimed a leading position within urban society, and by financing artistic endeavors, they proved their economic power and their desire to produce a new culture. Such art associations represented a collective approach to philanthropy, since they could easily bring together several hundred members. 27 Throughout the nineteenth century, art museums founded by royal/ducal authorities and by bourgeois art associations became the focal point of cultural life in German cities.

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