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The Quality Instinct

Seeing Art Through A Museum Directors Eye

written by Maxwell Anderson

American Alliance of Museums Press | ISBN 9781933253671

Paperback – 236 pages


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How do we judge what is good in art? And more to the point, can we even judge art? These questions have long spawned heated conversations about objectivity, subjectivity, and qualitative judgment that span both the academic and art worlds. Acclaimed museum director Maxwell L. Anderson enters the fray with "The Quality Instinct". Part memoir, part primer on museum culture, "The Quality Instinct" brims with wit and humor, utilizing anecdotes and insights from the author's thirty years in the highly competitive, often contentious art world. Anderson takes us on a grand tour of ancient and contemporary art, sharing five simple metrics of quality that help us to increase our visual literacy as we learn to see and, yes, even to judge art.


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