By Robert R. Janes

Are Museums Irrelevant?

Museums are not often said within the international dialogue of weather switch, environmental degradation, the inevitability of depleted fossil fuels, and the myriad neighborhood matters in regards to the health of specific groups – suggesting the irrelevance of museums as social associations. whilst, there's a growing to be preoccupation between museums with undefined, and museums, unwittingly or no longer, are embracing the values of relentless intake that underlie the planetary problems of today.

Museums in a Troubled international argues that rather more should be anticipated of museums as publicly supported and knowledge-based associations. the burden of culture and a scarcity of mind's eye are major components in museum inertia and those hindrances also are addressed. Taking an interdisciplinary strategy, combining anthropology ethnography, museum reviews and administration concept, this e-book is going past traditional museum thinking.

Robert R. Janes explores the that means and function of museums as key highbrow and civic assets in a time of profound social and environmental swap. This quantity is a optimistic exam of what's mistaken with modern museums, written from an insider’s standpoint that's grounded in either desire and pragmatism. The book’s conclusions are confident and positive, and spotlight the original contributions that museums could make as social associations, embedded of their groups, and owned by way of no one.

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Extra resources for Museums in a Troubled World: Renewal, Irrelevance or Collapse?

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Museums have the opportunity to honour the trust and respect that the public affords them, in part by engaging in the interests and aspirations of their communities – irrespective of how seemingly remote these issues may now appear to museums. There is certain urgency in doing so, as many of the structures and organizations that we have been accustomed to are now altered by the sheer force of the economy in which we live. Whether government, universities, newspapers or social assistance programs, these organizations and institutions are not what they used to be, and there is ambiguity and anxiety about our individual and collective existence.

Cameron wrote: 30 A troubled world At the same time, and with a sense of urgency, the forums must be created, unfettered by convention and established values. The objective here is neither to neutralize nor to contain that which questions the established order. It is to ensure that the new and challenging perceptions of reality – the new values and their expressions – can be seen and heard by all. 12 It appears that we have done a disservice to Cameron’s prescient wake-up call, as he was clearly calling for the creation of socially relevant institutions alongside, and in conjunction with, the temple or traditional museum.

27 22 Museums and irrelevance It is even more incumbent upon museums, as social institutions, to navigate thoughtfully through this madcap realm of hyper-capitalism, globalism and branding, in order to ensure that the best interests of museums and the communities they serve are not subsumed under the mantle of culture as consumption and corporatism. At the same time, new concepts such as social marketing are emerging, which are intended to channel corporate wealth to enhance social good. Despite these initiatives and the good practices to be discussed later, museums must not lose sight of the age-old adage – caveat emptor.

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