David Byrne's Journal: 12.12.09: Art Funding or Arts Funding:
Hoving and a couple of others, following this line of thinking, created the blockbuster museum show — which famously brought Tut to the masses, and made the Met and other like-minded museums into temples for all, instead of the dusty halls for academics they had become. Hard to remember, but the Met was once a fussy old place, and now it’s super popular — which is not in itself a bad thing. Although the idea was loudly espoused that art was for all, and all could benefit from exposure to it (something like a flu shot), this idea was not exactly democratic, not as I would define it — though it was certainly portrayed as democratizing art and culture. What the movement was actually doing was letting more people know that culture was, and is, HERE, and you slobs, you hoi polloi, are over HERE. We want you all to look at it, and listen to it, but don’t even think you could ever make it, or that your feeble efforts are anywhere close to these Himalayan peaks we have on display.