H. de Roos - The critique of the toronto exhibition
Serious Penalties And Liabilities...
More generally, Arseneau criticized the exhibition labels in most cases only mention the date the original model was created, not the year of execution, and referred to a critical question from the public:
At the symposium one of the audience, who I later found
out is an Toronto attorney(?) "Bonnie Czegledi", who put it more
eloquently than this but that museums should be about authenticity. She
directly pointed out the ROM's advertisement, in the Toronto Star
newspaper, promoting the dates of 1903-4 for the bronze
"Thinker" on exhibit was misleading since it was reproduced in
the last two years "1999-2000."
I personally did not see the advertisement in the Toronto Star, but in the exhibition, a text panel in the first room properly explains that most bronzes are "posthumous reproductions", exhibited for educational purposes only, and that the dates assigned to the exhibited works merely indicate the dates of creation of the original model, unless a second date has been added to indicate a further step of translation. In the opinion of David Schaff, these caveats surpass the standard applied in most Museum exhibitions:
Dates: the dates in the documentation and labels reflect
the date of creation of the model - this is standard museum practice for
registration and signage, and the R.O.M.'s split dating for enlargements
and reductions is above this standard.
Whatever flaws may be detected in the Canadian
documentation, PR materials and advertisements, Arseneau´s suggestion
curators and other officials would be engaged in "deceptive behavior
for money (that) could have serious penalties and liabilities"
[letter of 26 Dec. 2001] seems widely overcharged - especially if we
consider, under what circumstances the MacLaren Art Centre has decided to
accept this donation at all.
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