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PRINT April 1992

THE MAGIC KINGDOM OF THE MUSEUM

Whether artists produce or rich people die, whatever happens is good for the museums. Like casinos, they cannot lose, and that is their curse. For people become hopelessly lost in the galleries, isolated in the midst of so much art. The only other possible reaction to this situation is the one which Valéry sees as the general, ominous result of any and all progress in the domination of material—increasing superficiality. Art becomes a matter of education and information; Venus becomes a document. Education defeats art.

—Theodor W. Adorno, “Valéry Proust Museum,” 1967

When Billy Graham once strolled with him through the Eden of the Magic Kingdom, the evangelist congratulated Walt on having built such a marvelous garden of fantasy. “This is the real world here,” Walt sternly replied. “The fantasy world is outside.”

Disney World: 20 Years of Magic, 1991

TO SAY THAT AN ARTWORK has been

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