Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
RN02_05c_H: Current Developments at Museums
Thursday, 31/Aug/2017:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Volker Kirchberg, Leuphana University of Lueneburg
Location: HA.2.9
HAROKOPIO University 70 El. Venizelou Street 17671 Athens, Greece Building: A, Level: 2.

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Support or substitution? Museums and art education in double-peripheries

Dominik Porczyński

University of Rzeszów, Poland

The paper’s main objective is to depict growing participation of museums in the fields of art education and regional identity construction. The presentation concentrates on Poland’s Podkarpackie Province (or Subcarpathian Voivodeship) identified here as double-peripheries due to its far-from-centre location in semi-peripheral country.

Basing on Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts, well organised system of education may improve lacks in cultural capital inherited from parents by lower or middle class students. In discussed instance aesthetic competence may be developed in schools. In case of South-Eastern Poland, however, art education seems to be ceded on museums.

Research on educational practices in West European museums show teachers using museum lessons and exhibitions mostly as elements supporting curricula. Interviews carried out with curators and educators in Poland on the one hand confirm these outcomes, yet – on the other hand – deliver some different cases. Thus, from the perspective of interlocutors pupils often lack basic knowledge which curricula conducted until 1999 (before education system reform) provided. In result museum education seems to substitute school in fields related to classic culture, arts and regional history.

The paper bases on research carried out in 52 museums of Subcarpathian Voivodeship in years 2015-2016. Data includes quantitative interviews conducted with museum employees and visitors as well as in-depth interviews performed with curators and educators.

The former collections of French popular art: towards a museographical revival

Sophie Marino

Ecole nationale supérieure des Beaux arts de Paris, France

The National Museum of Folk Art and Traditions (Musée national des arts et traditions populaires) was created by George Henri Rivière in 1934 in the museum of the human being (Musée de l’Homme) and opened its doors in 1972 in a spectacular setting. Riviere was considered as the creator of the modern museology. His museum, dedicated to French ethnology, proposed an innovative museography, between esthetics and scientific rigor.

In 2002, after two decades of institutional crisis, the museum was renamed the Museum of Europe and Mediterranean Civilisations (MuCEM); it closed its doors in 2005 and reopened in Marseille in 2013 as the Museum of Mediterranean Civilisations with a new scope and a new mandate.

The collections of Riviere are thus very different from the new project and put into storage at the Mucem.

Nevertheless, several exhibitions organized by institutions of contemporary art, the Palais de Tokyo (2008, 2015 and 2017), and the Centre Pompidou Metz (2016) decided to show these collections, sometimes in their original museography which then becomes unit of exhibition and even object of exhibition.

What is the significance of this this new curiosity for this part of the French museums history? Several hypotheses appear: the approach of contemporary art on popular art and the question of popular culture in France, an esthetic point of view on the museography of ethnography. The presentation will focus on the four exhibitions cited above. We shall question this change of institutional space thanks to a qualitative investigation supported by document retrievals.

Risk, Reputation, and Damage: Studying Art Theft in the European Union

Naomi Oosterman

City University of London, The United Kingdom

Art crime has become an increasingly studied topic within the field of cultural sociology. Art theft is a form of crime that is almost per definition transnational and this it can pose severe consequences to (trans-) national art worlds. The impact of art theft on local art worlds, and the policy implemented thereafter, is considered severely ambiguous due to the fluidity of the cultural value of art.

This research is twofold. On the one hand this study investigates the criminal dynamics of art theft in the European Union, analysing 4,000 cases from the Interpol Works of Art database. On the other hand this research studies the different threats and risks to museum collections, using qualitative data from several metropoles in the Netherlands, Italy and the United Kingdom.

This study found that oftentimes arts and cultural property crimes made it to the governmental agenda, but just as often has it resulted in intangible (in)operational efforts, both in arts policy and securitisation. Central to this research is the argument that the implications of art thefts on local art world are empirically difficult to shape due to the fluidity of cultural value and certain impunity in (inter-) national policy. The research finds that, even though museums fear for the classic threats to their collections (theft, vandalism), a far greater fear is present in the risk of reputational and institutional damage. Furthermore, a discrepancy is evident in the objects that are often highly securitised and the objects targeted.

From Liverpool with Memory. House of Memories’ national partnerships on dementia care – a critical analysis

Rafaela Neiva Ganga, Kerry Wilson, Gayle Whelan

Institute of Cultural Capital, United Kingdom

Dementia and Alzheimer disease are currently the leading cause of death in England. Dementia refers to a variety of diseases that are characterized by a progressive cognitive and overall decline. There is no cure for dementia, but culture and art-led programmes have been recurrent in literature as particularly beneficial strategies to improving the lives of people with dementia and their caregivers (Camic, Baker, & Tischler, 2015; Rosenberg, 2009)

House of Memories (HoM) is a museums-led dementia awareness-training programme focus on the remanence potential of museum collections. Created by National Museums Liverpool (NML) in 2012, with funding from the Department of Health (UK), it provides dementia carers resources to support people to live well with the condition. HoM has been directly referenced within leading policy documents, including the UK Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia (Department of Health, 2012), and the recent review of care standards for people living with dementia (Care Quality Commission, 2014), with HoM cited as a creative intervention that focuses positively upon the individual’s quality of life. Unsurprisingly, HoM has been attracting national and international museum partners’ whiling to replicate the programme.

Since 2012, Crossing Boundaries: The value of museums in dementia care has been collecting data on HoM national expansion (e.g. to North, Midlands and Southeast) through a multi-method strategy design to understand three distinct but complementary outcomes: professional learning and development; wellbeing and culture of care; and social value and return on investment. This paper focus on the critical analysis of the programme’s impact on a culture-led interventions in dementia on partner museums, particularly on the national transferability, adaptability and impact of the existing model.

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