The Exhibitionist: Living Museums, Loving Museums

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9781468312836: The Exhibitionist: Living Museums, Loving Museums

In the great tradition of Thomas Hoving’s national bestseller, Making The Mummies Dance, the fascinating memoir by the curator who breathed life into museums

At once a field guide on how to appreciate museums―and the art within its walls―and an ebullient and entertaining memoir, renowned museum director Karl Katz’s The Exhibitionist shows how he made museums inviting, educational, living and vibrant. In his endeavors to make museums contemporary and relevant, Katz travels the globe: as an archaeologist in the newly-formed state of Israel to his covert entry, using forged documents, into the overly anti-Semitic Egypt of the late 1950s, through the New York City of the ‘60s and ‘70s and into the present day.

A man who always stood up for the museum visitor, Katz takes readers through his brilliant and accomplished life. A book for readers of history, art criticism, collectors, curators, administrators and students, The Exhibitionist is filled with a wide range of discussions both cultural and personal. Katz shows readers how Biblical archaeology played a crucial role in the cause of Israel nationalism, while also recounting his time trying to bring broadcast television and home-video technology to museums in the 1980s. Perfect for anyone who has ever been captivated by a well-curated exhibit.

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About the Author:

Karl Katz has worked as an archaeologist, as a museum planner and designer, and as a museum director. From 1971 to 1991, he served as the Chairman for Special Projects and subsequently Chairman for Exhibitions and Loans at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Katz is founder and Executive Director of MUSE Film and Television, a production company that creates quality documentaries on the visual arts and culture.


“An absorbing account of a crucial and defining period in Israel’s cultural life.”
- The Times of Israel

“In this elegant and erudite account of his career, [Katz] discusses more than just the nuts and bolts of building a museum or museum exhibit, turning his personal journey in conjunction with the backstories of great museums to create what he intends to be “a narrative field guide on how to make museums come alive.” For all museum lovers curious about what curators and directors do, how, and why.”
- Booklist

“The Met and the Israel Museum may be the jewels of his curriculum vitae, but even more remarkable are the reach and diversity of his long career, all vividly and charmingly revealed in the pages of The Exhibitionist.”
- Jewish Journal

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