Gilman, Benjamin Ives

Full Name
Gilman, Benjamin Ives
Gender
Date Born
1852
Date Died
1933
Home Country
Career
Overview

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, curator. Proponent of the Arts-and-Crafts notion of museum installation of objects outside their context in order to appreciate their esthetic value more. This idea was opposed by progressive museum directors such as John Cotton Dana. Gilman argued that objects are appreciated best when they are removed from their context, where all but their esthetic meaning falls away (Duncan). By viewing them in a pristine environment of the museum, the public could appreciate them in what he described as a secular state of grace.

Selected Bibliography
Museum Ideals: of Purpose and Method. Cambridge, MA: Riverside Press, 1918; Manual of Italian Renaissance Sculpture as Illustrated in the Collection of Casts at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston: Riverside Press, 1904.
Sources
Duncan, Carol. "Cotton Dana's Progressive Museum." in D'souza, Aruna, ed. Self and History: a Tribute to Linda Nochlin. London: Thames & Hudson, 2001, p. 132.