Book: Museum As Launderer

Paul Werner has a particularly harsh take on the role of American museums. “The role of the American art museum is to launder the money of its trustees and sponsors, not, as you may think, by turning one asset (‘cocaine,’ for instance) into another asset (say, ‘Rembrandts’), but by turning artworks into objects of authority and trust – objects that mediate and are mediated by the worth of money. The American art museum turns art into buzz the way its owners turn pork bellies into pork-belly futures.”