On Alois Riegl’s the Modern Cult of Monuments: A 100 Years Later from a Humanistic Perspective

By Joseph Gonda.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Riegl’s seminal paper is the conceptual ground for much of our present grasp of monuments, museums and issues of restoration. His distinction between ‘intended,’ ‘unintended’ monuments and how it interacts with ‘age-value,’ brackets almost all discussions of these issues that mean to influence practical applications. But much of the scholarship on Riegl leaves his meaning unclear. Making this clear will occupy the first part of the paper. In particular the paper will address the difficult issue of ‘Kunstwollen,’ Reigl’s neologism for capturing the network of cultural values. This examination will point to the limits of his discussion. Next, these limits will be bracketed by reference to two authors who provide perspectives extreme from one another: Phillip Fehl’s work on classical art, and Martin Heidegger’s On The Origin of the Work of Art. Finally,a humanistic issue will drive the conclusion: what humanistic values inform the planetary or cross-cultural appreciation of monuments and museums evident in the explosion of tourism in the last decades?

Keywords: -

The International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 5, Issue 9, pp.259-264. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 508.176KB).

Dr. Joseph Gonda

Philosophy Department, Glendon College, Social Science Division, York University, Canada

B.A. St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland, Masters and Phd, New School for Social Research, New York, N.Y.and The Pennsylvania State University. Recent Work: Publications and Conference contributions: Leibniz,Modern Natural Science and the Bible; Metaphysical Foundations of Political Philosophy;Michelangelo's David and the Bible. Each of these was presented at an international conference. The first are being published in conference proceedings. The Michelangelo Paper is being revised. Presently at work a on monograph, Toward a Functional Account of Art. Teaching languages: English and French; I have taught Classical Greek; working knowledge of Italian and Spanish.

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