CUT THE RIBBON, ALEXANDER DORNER

Posted on February 18, 2013 by admin

If a lot of people is going to museums and find it easier, it’s because of this man called Alexander Dorner who, at one point, introduced his vision and his curatorial theory and really changed the way exhibitions were conceived. Born in Konisberg Germany in 1893, Dorner joined the State Museum (Landesmuseum) in Hannover as a curator in 1923, rising to director in 1925.  He was responsible for many smaller museums in the Hanover area during the years of Walter Gropius’ foundation of the Bauhaus in Weimar.  Leader of the avant-garde art collecting in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s focusing on Piet Mondrian, Naum Gabo, Kazimir Malevich, and El Lissitzky, Dorner was famous for being anything but an elitist in years where the world “art” was meant to be pronounced only by the “well-read” people. Strongly populist, he worked on installations to appeal a great variety of people, driving attendance levels up. He grouped Museum collection objects in rooms by theme rather than period and removed cases in order to free works of art and make their esthetic appeal enhanced. After the declaration of second World War Dorner moved to United States and got a position of director at the Art Museum of the Rhode Island School Of Design where he reorganized the traditionally displayed works of art into dramatic installations that instantly encountered the flavor of a vast public. The evidence of his marvelous job ? A very rare 1958  book called “The Living Museum. Experiences of an Art Historian and Museum Director ” by  Samuel Cauman is still the “arty crowds” most wanted and read book all over the world.