Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Art historians and secrecy

There are two theorists whose ideas make the most sense in relation to the way art historians work as practitioners: Kulthau, and Duguid. Situated cognition is especially relevant to the understanding of art historians, as is the culture of learning as examined by John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid. The aspect of sharing knowledge is a theme that needs to be explored. Even though art historians rely on colleagues for information and admit to being members of an invisibile college, they find it very important to gather information first-hand, and above all, claim their territory. The ultimate effect of these customs is that knowledge is held up for the most part, while other scholars step aside for works-in-progress which are simply gathering dust after an announcement of their beginnings, say, 10 - 15 years ago. Outrageous.
The apprenticeship of the art historian soon leads to connoisseurship.

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