"Certainly, as museums' costs escalate, and as their management becomes corporatized, they look more to corporations for funding, and the projects being funded relate more to the sponsors' products. The Metropolitan Museum showed Cartier jewelry and Versace dresses, the Guggenheim BMW motorcycles and Armani clothes. Clearly, the reason these companies spend all this money is to burnish their products in the museums' aura.
It is precisely this that concerns me more than the simple conflict of interest, the museum selling its prestige to market commercial products. The Brooklyn project at least involved art.* Not so with dresses and motorcycles. This is the more troubling conflict. To the broad public, anything exhibited in these institutions is high art. So if dresses and motorcycles are exhibited in a museum of fine art, the message is that they are art. The public is being deliberately confused for commercial purposes."
* the exhibition "Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection"
Feigen, R. (2000). Tales from the art crypt: the painters, the museums, the curators, the collectors, the auctions, the art . New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf. p.110