2020 (2)
Museum - Politics - Management

Constance DeVereaux / Steffen Höhne / Martin Tröndle / Zahava D. Doering (Eds.)

264 Pages

ISBN 978-3-8376-4958-1

transcript

44,99€

The current issue can be ordered from the publisher.

Introduction
Museum - Politics - Management

In light of the global pandemic, environmental degradation, and racial justice crises, the contributions of this issue offer timely responses and thorough research on museum management, collection and archiving practices, curatorial approaches, and cultural policy instruments used to transform existing museum infrastructures. What is a “decolonized” collection? How does this affect exhibition development and public programming? How can museums serve a diverse future collective memory and what implications does this have for museum users? What role does “the digital museum” play in this context? And how does cultural policy need to respond to such novel approaches? Including perspectives from many parts of the world, this issue discusses ideas of what 21st century museums could be.

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Table of Contents
  • Journal of Cultural Management and Cultural Policy

    doi 10.14361/zkmm-2020-0201

  • Voices from the Field

    Various contributors

    Editorial

    Journal of Cultural Management and Cultural Policy

    doi 10.14361/zkmm-2020-0202

    • Abstract

      The dual crises of COVID-19 and our reckoning with systemic racism in the United States have created a necessary and overdue opportunity for reflection, adaptation, and change in the cultural field. This article, which shares preliminary findings from a study of the general public with an extensive oversample of culturally active Americans, is a resource to support this important movement. Working from the view that relevance and resilience are two-way streets, the researchers set out to understand what people and communities need from their cultural organizations now and in the future, and what cultural organizations can expect from communities. An open invitation to interested arts and culture organizations resulted in unprecedented participation across the sector: more than 650 organizations distributed the survey resulting in a sample of more than 120,000 respondents. Results are shared for the overall weighted sample as well as separately for Black or African American respondents and Hispanic or Latinx respondents, who are particularly underrepresented on the lists of arts and culture organizations in the United States.

    Journal of Cultural Management and Cultural Policy

    doi 10.14361/zkmm-2020-0203

    • Abstract

      With a specific focus on a material culture collection previously classified as Natal Nguni and Zulu at the Iziko South African Museum, this research article explores how digital spaces offer opportunities for changing the ways museums document and manage objects collected during colonial periods. This article draws attention to the highly constructed nature of museum documentation systems and the ways normalised colonial knowledge production practices are often replicated in digital versions of museums. Drawing on data I collected during workshops and interviews conducted 2016 – 2019 with descendent communities who self-identify as Zulu, I consider how their proposed, alternative categories, classifications, and information structures might take advantage of digital possibilities to change how museums construct knowledge about the people and cultures their objects are employed to represent. In conjunction with more rigorous repatriation and hiring policies, rethinking museum documentation systems is, as this article argues, an important step towards decolonising institutions.

    Journal of Cultural Management and Cultural Policy

    doi 10.14361/zkmm-2020-0204

  • Curatorial Practices of the ‘Global’: Toward a Decolonial Turn in Museums in Berlin and Hamburg?

    Lisa Gaupp, Anna Abramjan, Frida Mervecan Akinay, Katharina Hilgert, Anna Catharina Mulder, Rebecca Schmidt, Viviane Schnitzler, Ole Thurich, Lucas Tiemon, Swantje Wurl, Mira Zimmermann

    Research Article
    • Abstract

      Who decides what is included in the contemporary canon of ‘global arts’? This empirical mixed-methods study examines how different notions of the ‘global’ are curated in so-called ‘global’ visual arts in two German museums. Decolonial aesthetics, postcolonial thought, and the provenance of exhibition objects have challenged the legitimacy of German museums and have triggered a debate on their Eurocentric perspective, their situatedness, the differentiation between artefact and artwork, and the reproduction of colonial thinking and patterns of domination. Although a critical turn in current curatorial practice can be observed, it is not clear whether this change is the result of a genuine effort to decolonize art organizations. In this regard, the potentials, restrictions and applications of academic concepts such as “anti-racist” or “postcolonial curating” are discussed. This study found indications of a decolonial turn in a predominantly White European curatorial practice and emphasizes the need for further changes to this context.

    Journal of Cultural Management and Cultural Policy

    doi 10.14361/zkmm-2020-0205

    • Abstract

      The challenge of decolonization in the modern world has seldom been articulated from a management perspective. Cultural management as an agent for the decolonization of museums has generally been neglected. This paper offers an inside ex post reflection on the decolonization transition process the Belgian Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) underwent. By explaining how the specific institutional character of museums makes change and transition difficult, this article aims to add a much needed cultural management perspective to the literature on the decolonization of museums. The paper makes four suggestionsto implement decolonizing strategies on all levels of museum management thereby fostering an understanding of the decolonization of museums as a holistic transition process and change project.

    Journal of Cultural Management and Cultural Policy

    doi 10.14361/zkmm-2020-0206

    • Abstract

      Using the concepts of “isomorphism” on the one hand and dealing with “information asymmetries” on the other, this study examines why museums have so far been reluctant to apply for the Museum Association of Lower Saxony and Bremen’s seal of approval. Despite positive feedback about the initiative, only 13 % of the museums in the catchment area have successfully completed the procedure since its launch in 2006. With the help of interviews with museum staff of 17 institutions, the advantages and disadvantages, motivation and barriers as well as practical experience of the application procedure were analyzed and discussed with regard to the research question.

    Journal of Cultural Management and Cultural Policy

    doi 10.14361/zkmm-2020-0207

    • Abstract

      In March 2020, COVID-19 descended on American museums, exposing financial and operational fragility. It also exposed the limitations, harms and inequities of standard practices in museum management. The result was a widespread deaccessioning of staff, gutting departments that directly serve audiences and disproportionately impacting workers of color – a regressive step in a field moving toward decolonized and audience-centered practice. Despite the retrenchment, signs also indicate a revolution in progress. Key thinkers have argued that museums are making a long-term paradigm shift, from “being about something to being for somebody” (WEIL 1999). Responses to COVID-19 suggest that this shift has yet to penetrate the ‘deep structures’ of museum management. This article recognizes a museum “paradigm crisis” in which old and emerging systems coexist and conflict. Arguing that museums have neglected human-entered management strategies, it puts forward Bolman and Deal’s ‘Four Frames’ concept to build the managerial toolkit. Finally, it identifies priorities needed in an emerging paradigm: racial and cultural equity and diversity, compensation and wage equity, smarter work practices, and community care.

    Journal of Cultural Management and Cultural Policy

    doi 10.14361/zkmm-2020-0208

  • Essay
    • Abstract

      The global COVID-19 pandemic revealed the vulnerability of the museum sector across the world. A plethora of reports and a tsunami of webinars by professional and intergovernmental agencies profile the severity of challenges faced by museums globally. New York or London or Paris are not the ones with answers anymore. Systemic discrimination of all kinds and humanity’s callous disregard for the climate emergency are foregrounded. A radical rethinking of the museum as an institution and its contextuality are needed. As much as the collections will remain hegemonic and central to museums, becoming relevant to rights holders will determine transformations and new normalities and modalities of sustainability. This discursive essay is an autoethnographic consideration of heritage futures, from the reflexive freedom of the lockdown in village India, after more than four decades of traversing and working with museums on all the continents.

    Journal of Cultural Management and Cultural Policy

    doi 10.14361/zkmm-2020-0209

  • Journal of Cultural Management and Cultural Policy

    doi 10.14361/zkmm-2020-0210

  • Journal of Cultural Management and Cultural Policy

    doi 10.14361/zkmm-2020-0211

  • Journal of Cultural Management and Cultural Policy

    doi 10.14361/zkmm-2020-0212

  • Journal of Cultural Management and Cultural Policy

    doi 10.14361/zkmm-2020-0213

  • Journal of Cultural Management and Cultural Policy

    doi 10.14361/zkmm-2020-0214