Handing over Power, or: Diversity in the Heritage Sector

At the start of November, the UK Art Fund published a report on diversity in the arts and heritage sectors. Specifically, the report reviews the impact of diversity initiatives on curatorial roles since 1998. However, it also makes important observations on how the current structure of museums may stand in the way of diversity – … Continue reading Handing over Power, or: Diversity in the Heritage Sector

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The Cultural Sector: Will Hybris Lead to Our Fall?

  I’ve been thinking a lot recently about ‘culture’ on one hand, and ‘the cultural sector’ on the other. The two are not the same, although many in the cultural sector seem inclined to claim they are. I am going to call that hybris. And I wonder if such hybris will cause – and may … Continue reading The Cultural Sector: Will Hybris Lead to Our Fall?

British Museums and the EU Referendum

I have tried for a week now to pen a dispassionate response to the British Museums Association’s (MA) article in this month’s Museums Journal relating to Britain's EU Referendum [1]. I can’t. However, I still think that my experiences and views, and my bitterness, can offer something of value not only to British colleagues, but … Continue reading British Museums and the EU Referendum

Have museums already become irrelevant?

In her latest blog post ‘Following up on Ferguson’, Gretchen Jennings mentions that several museum people told her that they had been specifically forbidden from answering visitor questions or commenting on social media about Ferguson [1]. Having worked in local authority museums in the UK and knowing from my work here as a consultant the … Continue reading Have museums already become irrelevant?

Museums and Political Debate, Or: Why I Need You To Take A Stance

Over recent months, living as an immigrant in Britain [1], I have gone through a process that leaves me feeling increasingly alienated from museums and heritage sites in this country. In still-used museum discourse terms, I'm probably becoming one of the ‘hard-to-reach’. I feel let down by British museums. You see, these days, I daily … Continue reading Museums and Political Debate, Or: Why I Need You To Take A Stance

Museums Change Lives (or do they?)

This Monday past I went to the launch of the UK Museums Association’s ‘Museums Change Lives’ vision document.  And I will say that as ever, it is nice to hear and read a good few confident assertions of why our work as (museums) professionals actually matters.   And it is good to have a large organisation … Continue reading Museums Change Lives (or do they?)

 Museums 2020 and the Public: Not quite in harmony

Last week, the UK Museums Association published the research report into what the public think are the purposes of museums. I’ve blogged about the announcement of the research, and especially the brief for it, here.   I was particularly interested in their methodology [1].  My concerns were that the framework established in the brief would … Continue reading  Museums 2020 and the Public: Not quite in harmony

News programmes, not feature films, Or: Should we ditch permanent exhibitions?

I was quite intrigued by the lead article in the current edition of the Museums Journal [1].  In essence, the article asks whether we should move away from permanent exhibitions, using the number of visitors, and of repeat visits in particular, as the yardstick by which to measure value for money when it comes to … Continue reading News programmes, not feature films, Or: Should we ditch permanent exhibitions?