In a perfect world, museums would...

In a perfect museum world…

Mark Walhimer Museum Planning, Working in museums 8 Comments


In a perfect museum world;

1. All museums would have a collection perfectly matched to their mission, each piece of the collection would be perfectly preserved for eternity.

2. All museums would have in-house research departments, exhibition departments, fund raising departments, conservation departments, programming departments and finance departments

3. All museums would have well connected millionaire Board of Directors scholars, with sub committees of scientists, artists, mothers, fathers, students and the working poor

4. All museums would collaborate and happily share staff, collections and research

5. All museums would be community based organizations that attract tourists from worldwide locations

6. All museums would interact with each of their visitors at their learning styles and their interest level

7. All museums would combine Art, History, Science and Philosophy at an exact level perfectly matching their mission

8. All museum staff would be well compensated with enough time to pursue their own research projects as part of their job responsibilities

9. All museum staff would be tenured positions with a strong international organization protecting their interests with a pension plan at the time of retirement

10. All museums would be a perfect combination of interaction, contemplation and discussion amongst visitors

11. All museums would integrate living artists into museum planning, education and museum operations

12. All museums would cost less than a local movie ticket

13. All museums would provide a seamless experience from home, to school, to the museum from birth to death for all people

14. All museum collections would be available both in-person and in an “open” digital format

* “Collection” includes Art objects, artifacts and science exhibits

Above is my “perfect museum world”. What would you want in your perfect museum world?

Comments 8

  1. #4 is completely realizable, but sadly is not the universal practice, although the help our small museum has gotten from larger ones has been invaluable. Cooperation should be the gold standard among museums. OTOH, #9 is truly horrifying, I suspect Mr, Walhimer has never tried to innovate anything while teaching in a public school.

  2. Dear Ethyl,
    It is so sad to watch museums layoff staff, Exploratorium just went through a 20% layoff.

    p.s. never taught in a public school in the USA, but have taught Art in public schools in Vietnam and Indonesia

  3. All museums’ missions would be firmly rooted in their own unique historical significance and simultaneously maintain their relevance to the future.

  4. All museums would value the potential of the collections as well as the experience of their employees.

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