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Main Street as Art Museum: Metaphor and Teaching Strategies

Main Street as Art Museum: Metaphor and Teaching Strategies ELIZABETH (BEAU) In truth, walking down Main Street in many American small towns today is rather like walking through an art museum whose walls have mysterious gaps where paintings have been removed for cleaning. Maybe more accurately, walking down Main Street can be rather like walking through the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston after a Vermeer, two Rembrandts, and eleven other artworks were stolen in 1990: since the Gardner's charter does not allow it to rearrange its holdings, the resulting gaps remained with only explanatory notes in their too-large spaces on my last visit there. A town I know well has a disturbing number of empty storefronts, identified with only the faint outlines of their former names, their windows holding explanatory notes in the form of signs proclaiming that they are for sale or rent. Thanks to Wal-Mart and other big-box stores thriving in a distinctly nonpedestrian strip north of town, the commerce that once thrived on Main Street has died or been removed to new locations, and the oncelively street-level shop windows that testified to downtown liveliness for foot traffic are now empty, awaiting new life as, very likely, antique shops or restaurants. But in principle, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Aesthetic Education University of Illinois Press

Main Street as Art Museum: Metaphor and Teaching Strategies

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1543-7809
Publisher site
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Abstract

ELIZABETH (BEAU) In truth, walking down Main Street in many American small towns today is rather like walking through an art museum whose walls have mysterious gaps where paintings have been removed for cleaning. Maybe more accurately, walking down Main Street can be rather like walking through the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston after a Vermeer, two Rembrandts, and eleven other artworks were stolen in 1990: since the Gardner's charter does not allow it to rearrange its holdings, the resulting gaps remained with only explanatory notes in their too-large spaces on my last visit there. A town I know well has a disturbing number of empty storefronts, identified with only the faint outlines of their former names, their windows holding explanatory notes in the form of signs proclaiming that they are for sale or rent. Thanks to Wal-Mart and other big-box stores thriving in a distinctly nonpedestrian strip north of town, the commerce that once thrived on Main Street has died or been removed to new locations, and the oncelively street-level shop windows that testified to downtown liveliness for foot traffic are now empty, awaiting new life as, very likely, antique shops or restaurants. But in principle,

Journal

The Journal of Aesthetic EducationUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Jun 2, 2007

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