Thesis Defense Announcement
The College of Communication and Fine Arts announces the Final Thesis Defense of
for the Degree of Master of Arts
October 23, 2018 at 10:00 AM in Art and Communication Building, Room 244A
Advisor: Virginia Solomon
Street Art and Museums: Their Similarities Applied
ABSTRACT: In this thesis, two seemingly incongruent subjects, street art and museums, are examined to show the similarities between the two. Street art, essentially vandalism-as-art, and museums, the gatekeepers of and an authority on culture, have been posited as antithetical to one another: after all, street art actively contests ownership, authority, and commodification in its illegal existence in and on public settings. Despite this tension, I argue that street art and museums are actually comparable in practice and even operate from similar ideologies in terms of their commitment to a public. By studying museum best practices and street art theory, I highlight three main categories of intersection, engagement, accessibility, and dialogue, and show how museums may consider incorporating elements of street art into their own practices in order to fulfill their mission as socially just institutions. Using the Banksy exhibition Banksy versus the Bristol Museum (2008) as a springboard, I trace the literal intersection of street art and museum practices to ultimately offer three examples in which the spirit of street art can be realized in museum practices without actually bringing aerosol into the galleries.