A Listening Session for Recovering Museum Workers

Join Museum Workers Speak for a listening session on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 at 7:30 pm ET.슠 Go to this invitation for more information on the event and on how to participate. The Museum Workers Relief Fund MWS is a collective of activist museum workers interrogating the relationship between museums stated commitments to social value…

The Zeitgeist of Tyranny: What Should Museums Do?

  In the century that has followed the rise and near-triumph of Nazism between the 1920s and 1945, history has judged not just Adolf Hitler, his government, paramilitary organizations, and army.슠 We have also become aware of the almost total submission of German civic institutions to Nazism:슠 the courts, universities, banks, hospitals, arts organizations all…

Yes, Museums Need to Step into the Future, but First We Must Acknowledge our Past

In his opinion piece in the New York Times on July 26, 2019, (Museums Need to Step into the Future) Ford Foundation President Darren Walker applauds museums greater involvement in social justice issues. And he calls for increased efforts toward diversity and inclusion.슠 Walker correctly takes a holistic approach, touching on hiring, collecting, exhibitions, and…

Children at the Border: Where Are Museums? Niños en la frontera: ¿Dónde están los museos?

On July 22, 2014, almost four years ago, I raised this issue on AAM’s슠 Future of Museums슠 blog:슠Unacompanied Children at our Borders:슠 Can Museums Help?슠It didn’t attract much attention, but this was before #museumsrespondtoFerguson, #MuseumsAreNotNeutral, Museums and Race, MASSAction, and countless other disussions and initiatives regarding museums’ engagement with and responsibility to the world outside…

The “Overlooked” Initiative: Lessons in Empathy from the New York Times

Yet who gets remembered and how inherently involves judgment. To look back at the obituary archives can, therefore, be a stark lesson in how society valued various achievements and achievers.   On March 8, 2018, the New York Times published a special Sunday supplement containing the photographs and beautifully written obituaries of some 15 accomplished…

Thoughts on Museum Neutrality: What is the Conflict?

D’lo, Queer/transgender Tamil Sri Lankan-American Actor/Writer/Comedian Visitors of Color Tmblr   Can Museums Be Neutral?슠,a post by Museum Questions blogger슠Rebecca Herz, galvanized museum discussions on Twitter and Facebook in December, 2017. The conversation died down over the holidays, but I’ve continued to reflect on some of the important questions that were raised. Earlier in the…

Excellence and Equity: 25 and Still Alive

“Museums must become more inclusive places that welcome diverse audiences, but first they should reflect our society’s pluralism in every aspect of their operations and programs.” 슠Excellence and Equity. 슠1992 This sentence on the first page of슠Excellence and Equity makes it the prescient and seminal슠publication that it was in 1992 and that it remains today.…

The Idea of Museum Neutrality: Where Did it Come From?

Where is Part 2? In a post written on March 2, 2017, Stayin’ Alive, Part 1: Advocacy, I described efforts by the American Alliance of Museums, on behalf of the larger US museum community, to advocate for continued government funding of museums and cultural institutions in the face of a proposed Trump budget. 슠As implied…