museum geek

Well, my 2012 world tour of museum conferences is over. After three conferences in three countries in four weeks, plus time at the Smithsonian and visiting plenty of museums, I have aeons of raw mental material for processing and synthesis. But as I begin doing so, I thought I’d start at the end rather than the beginning, with thoughts inspired by the excellent keynote that David Fleming, CEO National Museums of Liverpool, gave at INTERCOM 2012.

Titled The Political Museum, David’s speech considered museums and the myth of neutrality. One of the standout concepts was the idea that “all cultural activity is political, but some is overt and some is covert.” He argued that museums should be overt in their political positions, acknowledging the inherent politicality involved in museum work, and that they should actively take positions on and around issues.

Unsurprisingly, this was a talk I loved…

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