“A friend of mine, whom I shall call Catherine, was given as a present by an unobtrusive admirer - a drawing from Picasso's classical period; she took it to be a reproduction and hung it in her staircase. On my next visit to her house, it was hanging over the mantelpiece in the drawing-room: the supposed reproduction had turned out to be an original. But as it was a line-drawing in ink, black contour on white paper, it needed an expert, or at least a good magnifying lens, to show that it was the original and not a lithograph or reproduction. Neither Catherine, nor any of her friends, could tell the difference. Yet her appreciation of it had completely changed, as the promotion from staircase to drawing-room showed. I asked her to explain the reason for her change of attitude to the thing on the wall which in itself had not changed at all; she answered, surprised at my stupidity, that of course the thing had not changed, but that she saw it differently since she knew that it was done by Picasso himself and 'not just a reproduction’. I then asked what considerations determined her attitude to pictures in general and she replied with equal sincerity that they were, of course, considerations of aesthetic quality -- 'composition, colour, harmony, power, what have you'. She honestly believed to be guided by purely aesthetic value-judgements based on those qualities; but if that was the case, since the qualities of the picture had not changed, how could her attitude to it have changed?”  

It seems that it is the case, that in some critical sense, what you experience when you experience an item under a certain description is not the same as what you experience if you experience under another description. In other words, your experience of an item is sensitive to what you experience it as, so that an experience of it under one description can have a different phenomenology from that of an experience under another description. Furthermore, there are some who have even gone far as to claim that the description under which one experiences something actually constrains the qualities that such an item can manifest to the viewer, that is, that the item can actually display as an item of the kind that falls under its description; and so qualities of an item available under one description might not be available under another description. This theme is explored at length by the art historian Svetlana Alpers, who uses the term “museum effect” in describing the process by which objects — both natural or man-made — are attributed a visual distinction as well as cultural significance within an institutional frame:

“The museum effect, I want to argue, is a way of seeing… It is very possible that it is only when, or insofar as, an object has been made with conscious attention to crafted visibility that museum exhibition is culturally informing: in short, when the cultural aspects of an object are amenable to what museums are best at encouraging. Romanesque capitals or Renaissance altarpieces are appropriately looked at in museums (pace Malroux) even if not made for them. When objects like these are severed from the ritual site, the invitation to look attentively remains and in certain respects may even be enhanced.“ 

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