In his article, “Where is the East? Asian Objects in American Museums, from Nathan Dunn to Charles Freer,” Steve Conn claims that the location of Asian objects in the category of fine art was not inevitable. To support his claim, he describes how this happened in American museums.
In two typed, double-spaced pages, answer the following questions.
How did the category of art win out over the conceptual frameworks of anthropology or ethnology as a way of understanding cultural artifacts produced by Asian ‘artists’?
Identify and summarize each of the two different conceptual frameworks and describe specifically what each framework emphasizes.
Finally, in your opinion, what is the best way to classify and display Asian objects? What are the stakes in this issue and why does it matter to us today?