The Museum as a Way of Seeing

Essay by vinni119 October 2004

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The Museum as a Way of Seeing

        As a college student I read a lot of things. I read the news, my books, and plenty of short essays. Out of all the short essays I had read before "The Museum as a Way of Seeing" by Svetlana Alpers, has got to be one of the most boring.

        Her opening paragraph helps to support her ideas but it is definitely an example in the wrong place. It would help to support what she says about the museum experience, but it is not a good opening paragraph. This example of a bad opening paragraph shows how hard it is initially to see where she is going with the essay. Alpers is descriptive in her opening paragraph though. I got a very good picture in my mind of how big the crab was that she described. The problem with the crab story is that you grasp no idea where Alpers is going with the essay until the 3rd paragraph that starts "The museums of Europe........".

I find myself at this point in the essay asking myself "What the hell were the first to paragraphs for?". She starts off by talking about a museum in Cambridge, and then goes into European museums. A separation starts taking place right in the beginning of the essay that confuses the reader. The first two paragraphs don't relate well to the rest of the body. A connection needed to be made immediately with the Cambridge museum and European Museums. Not stating this leads the reader to become confused and forces the reader to reread the first three paragraphs, while closely looking for an understanding of how to interpret the information given.

        Along with the use of the crab example, recalling the crab example confuses the reader further. I...