Museums in the 21st century

Museums in the 21st century

February 9, 2009 | Published by MMA
McMaster Museum of Art
McMaster Museum of Art

I’ve been reading a lot of literature lately in what I would call the area of  “new” new museology. Its focus is on the notion of the museum in the 21st century. It is intriguing reading for those of us who are cultural administrators as it seems a direct response to, and extension of, the diversity debates regarding access, representation and the gaze from the first era in new museology, that is, from the early 1980s and throughout the 1990s. While that period saw the idea of museums and communities grow exponentially, the current writings have expanded that concept and seem to be pointing toward the socially responsive exhibition as that which will make museums relevant in the future. At the McMaster Museum of Art (MMA) we feel particularly emboldened with this notion as we strive to produce programming that supports the academic mission of our host institution – McMaster University, Hamilton, ON. Engaging with research interests across campus – from within the disciplines of math, science, medicine, the social sciences and the humanities – ensures that our programming about the visual arts is broadly-based, innovative and responsive to the interests of civil society.
– Carol Podedworny, McMaster Museum of Art Director and Curator