Tag: museum

Towards a sustainable museum education

According to a recent study (in Spanish), one out of three university students in Spain have never visited a museum. It is a surprising data. We actually assume that students should have had more and easier access to museums than any other group of the same age. So what has been going wrong there? Who are the guilty ones – museums, parents, the university, society as a whole?

Assumption 1: Nowadays higher education is more accessible than ever, so people from weak social backgrounds where museum visits are not common are studying at university.

Assumption 2: When these students were small children, so about 15 years ago, many museums still did not have educational departments. Maybe within ten years, most of the students will be able to say that yes, they have visited a museum at least once in their life.

But again, should this satisfy us? I’d say no, because what matters is not visiting a museum, what matters is learning something there, is taking out something, a piece of information, a positive emotion, something that will stay with the person throughout his or her life. In the best case, this memory makes the person come back to this same or any other institution. In the very best case, the person will transmit his or her knowledge and lived experience to friends, parents, own children, etc.

Family visiting the Museu Frederic Marès, Barcelona

A large number of museums do offer educational activities for school children and many museums save visitor statistics thanks to these school activities. That’s all fine, but we should rethink museum education and creating very best cases: we should actively foster a sustainable museum education, one that will live on beyond the individual who receives it.

It’s a difficult task, that’s for sure, but maybe we can simply start by surveying the current museum education, especially the one addressed at schools.

Museums should try to create a culture of visiting museums, something that forms part of people’s life. Too ambitious? Maybe, but we might be able to avoid situations such as these: “Where have all the children gone, Britain’s galleries wonder” writes The Independent a couple of weeks ago.

And we might have stopped wondering by then.

TweetsReview – 3

In the first of this TweetsReview series I explained – in Catalan at that time – why I decided to start the series. The story goes back a couple of months ago when I was involved in some discussions on the social media mix, i.e. the proper balance of all the 2.0 tools within a communication strategy. Participants agreed that Facebook and Twitter were very powerful, but that information was lost in a few hours and that it was quite difficult to recover interesting information distributed through these channels. In a blog, however, the information is kept and remains accessible over time. That’s why I started the series “TweetsReview” as a selection of my most interesting tweets during a certain period of time.

4 Jul The virtual Museum of the City. Great participatory feature: create and present electronic exhibits about cities. http://t.co/806PAju
This 100% virtual museum is, in its own words, “the world’s only virtual museum of cities, showing the things that make a city great: its design, its history, its transportation, its cultural influence”. It is basically a 1.0 website, but what I found most interesting is the “Get involved” feature: everyone is invited to build and submit an exhibit. I am curious to see the first exhibitions there!

29 Jun BBC’s new web: Your paintings – Uncovering the nation’s art collection. Featuring great social tagging! http://t.co/ZKsGUOd
BBC has launched a new web which aims at putting 200’000 pieces of UK’s art collection online. Very user-friendly, with guided video tours by experts and a great social tagging feature “Help tag the nation’s oil paintings”, starting in summer 2011. Yes, I am a big fan of social tagging and I wish more museum websites would propose it. The Brooklyn Museum is, as for many other 2.0 features, a fantastic example of social tagging.

24 Jun Wow! RT @artinfodotcom: A Museum That Does Take-Out?: How the Leeds #Art Gallery’s Public Lending Plan Works: http://t.co/rbE7n8C
I first couldn’t believe it: just go to the museum and take your favored painting back home for a while (and little money). So innovative! But…what about conservation issues? I cannot think of many museums that could seriously envisage such a scheme.

3 Jun Thomas #Hirschhorn ‘s website for his work at Swiss Pavilion @la_Biennale “to propose an inside view” http://bit.ly/liTlpu
Thomas Hirschhorn launched this specific website to give more background information on his work “Crystal of Resistance” exposed at the Venice Biennale 2011, Swiss Pavilion. I think it interesting to get an insight view of an artist’s creative process, for instance through 79 sketches online, well worth a browse. There is much more material: videos, studio and set-up pictures, etc. It really helps to get familiar with the work, even without travelling to Venice.

Thomas Hirschhorn’s Chrystal of Resistance

And finally, a recommendation to visit an exhibition in Barcelona:
17 Jun
L’efecte del cine. Somni. @FundaciolaCaixa BCN. Vídeos, pel•lícules i instal•lacions d’alta qualitat. Molt recomanable! http://t.co/GQxzglw
This exhibition at the CaixaForum in Barcelona gathers some fantastic works: video art, film and installations, all of high quality. I especially liked and installation by Anthony McCall You and I Horizontal II, 2006.

Installation by Anthony McCall