Museums as Predators

I am a huge believer in the power of participation to transform museums for the better. But, over and over, I’ve seen well-intentioned museum staff make lots of small decisions that they feel will protect their institutions, but add up to undermine their community engagement processes.

Contextualizing Historic Spaces

Review of Darger as Reader, Writer and Bookmaker at Intuit Darger as Reader, Writer, and Bookmaker (open June 11–July 18, 2021) is the first is a series of three exhibits about the Henry Darger Room at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. Henry Darger (1892-1973) was a Chicago-based illustrator and author who was... Continue Reading →

Refocusing Museums on People

Or, my dreams for museums in a post-COVID world As I watch museums lay off thousands of highly qualified underpaid staff during this pandemic, I have been asking myself why I keep investing in museums.  Museum staff are overwhelmingly white, straight, and able-bodied and museum leaders are overwhelmingly male. For centuries museums have told stories... Continue Reading →

What’s a Museum?

On September 9, 2019, The International Council of Museums (ICOM) will vote on whether to adopt a new definition of “museum.” With 40,000 professionals in over 141 countries, ICOM is well positioned to foster a new international consensus on the definition of a museum.

The Activist Museum vs. The Activist

In the past few years, I have observed an increasing number of museums reinvent themselves as activist museums. Activist museums espouse an explicit agenda and offer visitors concrete ways to create social change. While I am heartened by the trend of activist museums, museums still have a long way to go to gain the trust... Continue Reading →

Making Museums Welcoming, Inclusive, Accessible

Have you ever overheard a museum professional make a statement like, “while I know it's important to make sure wheelchair users can get around, the wide aisles really interrupt the flow of the space.” However well-intentioned, statements like these miss the power and importance of making museums welcoming, inclusive, and accessible. At the most recent... Continue Reading →

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑