Liberating History: New Museology at the Casa Museo Quinta de Bolívar

By Gina McDaniel Tarver.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The hero’s house type of history museum faces the challenge of preserving architecture and artifacts related to a revered, often quasi-sacred cultural figure while proving relevance to a changing and diverse public. Temporary interventions into the space of the museum, for example in the form of contemporary art installations, can serve to expand what and who is represented in history, creating an atmosphere of openness that encourages visitors to see themselves as active agents in the creation of cultural heritage. Recent new museum practices at the Casa Museo Quinta de Bolívar, a former home of the South American independence leader Simón Bolívar in Bogotá, Colombia, illustrate the potential of creative intervention to open and reconstruct national history. Museum director Daniel Castro has collaborated with a wide range of civic institutions, schools, and universities to create programs allowing artists and others to envision the history of Colombian independence and the relationship of Bolívar to the present. This case study can help others both to evaluate the benefits and pitfalls of creative intervention as a practice and to think critically about ways to make history museums, in general, more inclusive.

Keywords: Artistic Intervention, Contemporary Art, Hero’s House Museum, Heritage, History Museum, Installation Art

The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 6, Issue 4, December 2014, pp.53-65. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 682.048KB).

Dr. Gina McDaniel Tarver

Assistant Professor, School of Art and Design, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, USA

Assistant Professor Gina McDaniel Tarver holds a PhD from The University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation research, which focused on Conceptual art in Colombia and its relationship to art institutions, was supported by a Fulbright grant. Recently she published “Art Does Not Fit Here: Colombian Conceptual Art between the International ‘New Avant-Garde’ and Colombian Politics” in the British journal Third Text and is currently working on a book on Colombian art of the 1960s and 1970s. Before joining the faculty at Texas State, she worked as a curatorial associate at the Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin, and as an Educational Fellow at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and she continues to contribute to museum catalogs. Her research and teaching interests include contemporary art, Latin American art, art and politics, the role of institutions in cultural formation, and decolonial studies.


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