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Museum Highlights: A Gallery Talk, 1989

Museum Highlights: A Gallery Talk is a performance in the form of a guided tour for visitors to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which took place in February 1989. Dressed in a formal grey skirt-suit, Fraser assumes the identity of Jane Castleton, a volunteer guide taking visitors on a route through the galleries, lobby and cafeteria. In addition to the usual comments of a tour guide on the history of the institution and its collection, Castleton shares personal thoughts about the building, the cloakroom and the toilets of the museum, as well as her passionate opinions on politics and social classes.

For Fraser, Castelton embodies the role of a figure habitually found in the North American museum context: the upper-class amateur volunteer who has ‘the leisure and economic and cultural capital that defines a museum’s patron class’. Through the figure of Castelton and the language she uses, Fraser exposes the social history of the art museum in the United States, emphasising the relationships between taste and class, private philanthropy and public policy in museum production as well as other spheres of urban culture.

Technical details

Original title:
Museum Highlights: A Gallery Talk
Registration number:
Fraser, Andrea
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Audiovisual recording
Single-channel video, colour, sound, 29 min 52 s
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
© Andrea Fraser
It has accessibility resources:

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

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