my museological mindscape

picture-11

i was recently asked to write out a personal statement on my museological philosophy. this word collage represents many of the themes i covered – also i’ve provided a condensed version for context.

I believe that it is a museum’s role, as a “cultural institution”, to foster a climate of social equality by empowering its communities – working cooperatively to develop more inclusive collections, programs, and exhibitions. I believe in immersive learning environments and thought experiments. I believe art museums can be just as fun  as science centers – if we design them that way.

As museologists, we have a unique responsibility to create alternative education spaces and forums for productive discourse. a social responsibility to provide our communities with the tools and opportunities necessary to actualize their own experiences. This form of  advocacy alows  for formally marginalized voices to be heard in a ways that are  supportive, challenging, and inspiring.

though these ideas are in effect in some instutitions – in many they remain absent.  i have hope that this platform of advocacy will eventually be absorbed into our cultural mindspace as common practice. if we are to be functional centers for inclusive cultural exploration we have to evolve. museums have the opportunity to act as change agents by working within their communities to create spaces that are as dynamic, educational, and engaging as the people, cultures, and ideas they represent.

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3 Responses to “my museological mindscape”


  1. 1 Michael Terry December 3, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    I think it fitting that snark/zing identifies this site. In order to think out of the box and to move beyond our “Blink” reactions, we all should begin to think on multiple simultaneous levels. The ironic must become a new iconic representation of our dialogue; the text has always really had a context. It is critical that we begin to understand relationally more than simply rationally. Museums can create those kinds of spaces; places to experience and relate on multiple levels. Subsequently, we’ll need places to dialogue and reflect on those experiences, and museums could provide those spaces as well. In the past, a Cafe Society would arise where people needed to share and dialogue. Whether museums become the new Cafe or Cybercafe Society is yet to be seen…

  2. 2 Zach Burba December 8, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    I like that “Morrisey” is included amongst all of those words.

    • 3 w h i t n e y December 9, 2008 at 12:36 am

      its a compilation of every paper I’ve written in Grad school. a lot of them referenced a series of journals edited by my prof. Kris Morrissey. I think this explains it. That, and every paper I’ve written contains at least one lyric from the The Smiths.


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I'm also a contributor to the Henry Art Gallery's Hankblog and editor/producer of the Gallery's ArtCasts.

I'm currently working as a Wallace Foundation Fellow with emp|sfm to foster a new network for the NorthWest all ages music & arts community. Its called The Sound Board and you should totally check it out.

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