The Love of Art: European Art Museums and Their Public
Pierre Bourdieu, Alain Darbel, Dominique Scnapper
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Everyone can visit the art treasures held in the great museums of the world. And yet, in fact, museums are visited by only a small segment of the population. What are the characteristics of those who display their love of art by strolling through the aisles of museums, and what distinguishes them from the majority of people who are effectively excluded, or exclude themselves, from their doors? In this study, Bourdieu and Darbel address such questions on the basis of a wide-ranging survey of museum visitors throughout Europe. By examining the social conditions of museum practices, they show that cultivated taste is not a natural gift but a socially inculcated disposition which is distributed unevenly, and which predisposes some to distinguish themselves through their love of art, while others are deprived of this privilege.