Welcome to the Future of Museums blog

Posted in museums with tags , , , , on 24 September 2008 by futuremuseums

Museums in the Long Now

Join the debate on museums of the future started on 18th June 2008 at City University London.

If we were today to design a museum to house the Clock of the Long Now, being built to last for 10,000 years, what would it look like?

On 18th June, a small group of museum professionals, futurists and cultural commentators came together to generate some new  thinking about museums of the future.

Whilst there was general agreement that in the immediate future museums would remain building and collection based, ideas about the longer term varied widely.

Some welcomed disruption, others continuity. The importance of digital developments was hotly debated. Notions of creativity and sustainability were explored.

The question was asked, could museums be the ‘trim rudder’ for wider change – the place to renegotiate the troubled relationship between the public sector and the private individual?

The day was organised by Nicola Jennings, Director of the Cultural Leadership Programme at City University London, and Kathleen Soriano, Director of Compton Verney in Warwickshire, with funding from the London Centre for Arts and Cultural Enterprise (LCACE).


Andrew Curry on The Futures of the Museum

Posted in museums with tags , , , , on 26 September 2008 by futuremuseums

Download Andrew Curry’s presentation from City University’s website here. (You’ll open a PDF file in a new window.)

Andrew, Director of Henley Centre HeadlightVision, discusses futures work, the drivers of change, and outlines some indicative scenarios.

When you’ve read the presentation, come back and make a comment below.

List of attendees

Posted in museums with tags , , , on 26 September 2008 by futuremuseums

You can see a list of attendees at ‘Museums in the Long Now’ on City University’s website here.

Summary of day’s proceedings

Posted in museums with tags , , on 26 September 2008 by futuremuseums

Read a summary of the day’s proceedings on the City website here. (You’ll open a PDF in a new window..)

Museums and the challenges of the 21st century: paper by Dr. Klaus Müller

Posted in museums with tags , , , on 25 September 2008 by futuremuseums

The below arguments all circle around one assumption: museums will not continue to exist in their present 150-year old form for the foreseeable future, at least not as relevant institutions. As many other businesses, they face a rapidly changing culture, through which their mission will be redefined and will take on new meanings. Continue reading

The Museum Reconsidered as ‘Common Land’: paper by Declan McGonagle

Posted in museums with tags , , , on 25 September 2008 by futuremuseums

The artist Joseph Kosuth tells a story, of a major museum which acquired an important work of his for its Collection, a seminal Conceptual piece comprising a real wooden chair, a photograph of the same chair and a text, a dictionary definition of ‘chair’. Later, when the artist requested to borrow the piece for one of his exhibitions he was told that it couldn’t be found. After further searches it turned out that, after having been exhibited in the museum, the components of the piece had been stored separately. The chair had been stored as Sculpture, the photograph as Photography and the text as Conceptual Art. In other words the functioning of the museum, as a classifying repository of things, had destroyed the work and its meaning. Continue reading