Advertisement

Transforming Education for Museum Professionals in the Digital Age

  • Tula GianniniEmail author
  • Jonathan P. Bowen
Chapter
Part of the Springer Series on Cultural Computing book series (SSCC)

Abstract

As the digital revolution accelerates, one of the most significant impacts that museums are experiencing, is how digital development is changing the very nature of work across the professions and disciplines from art and humanities to computer science and technology. Simply put—work and life are merging and becoming increasingly digital and cross-disciplinary, as they are absorbed into the digital ecosystem. Museums are recognizing that the digital shift is causing them to re-think the skills and knowledge their professional staff needs and are challenged to find effective strategies to respond to changes brought about by digital culture and related social and cultural issues, while graduate education for museum professionals is similarly challenged. As a case study, we consider Pratt Institute’s Master of Science in Museums and Digital Culture, introduced in 2015 by Giannini. Representing the first master’s degree of its kind, it offers a program set in a digital framework that encompasses the full range of museum activities and functions in contrast to the prevalent museum studies model taking a more traditional collection-centered approach. Over the past few years, the work of museum professionals behind the scenes has become increasingly carried out using digital tools and technologies, from collection management including digitization and access, to museum websites and social media, while using digital in galleries and exhibitions is an emerging area of critical focus aimed at developing digital strategies and methods for visitor engagement and experience and that expand the roles and responsibilities of museum professionals. Among digital advances, augmented and virtual reality, digital storytelling and artificial intelligence, are entering the mainstream of museum life, more fully immersing museums in the digital culture ecosystem. This chapter explores how education for museum professionals is transforming, as it responds to the need for graduates to possess digital skills and a deep knowledge and understanding of the social and cultural contexts in which museums are evolving.

References

  1. Art Fund (2017) The 21st Century Curator, A report into the evolving role of the UK museum curator, and their needs for the future. Art insights, Art Fund, UK, November 2017. https://www.artfund.org/assets/supporting-museums/curators/art-fund-21st-century-curator.pdf. Accessed 16 Jan 2019
  2. Art Leaders Network (2018). A Summit for innovators and networks. Art Leaders Network, The New York Times. 2–3 May 2018. https://www.nytartleadersnetwork.com/aln2018/. Accessed 16 Jan 2019
  3. Boucher B (2015). Mellon foundation study reveals uncomfortable lack of diversity in American. Artnet News, 4 Aug 2015. https://news.artnet.com/art-world/mellon-foundation-museum-diversity-study-322299. Accessed 16 Jan 2019
  4. Boucher B (2018) What’s the best path to a top museum job? We analyzed the training of 100 curators to find out. Artnet News, 2 Apr 2018. https://news.artnet.com/art-world/curator-schools-contemporary-art-1257305. Accessed 16 Jan 2019)
  5. Bowen JP, Giannini T (2014) Digitalism: the new realism. In: Ng K, Bowen JP, McDaid S (eds) EVA London 2014 conference proceedings, Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC), BCS, pp 324–331.  https://doi.org/10.14236/ewic/eva2014.38
  6. Bowen JP, Giannini T, Polmeer G (2017) Coded communication: digital senses and aesthetics, merging art and life. In: Bowen JP, Diprose G, Lambert N (eds) EVA London 2017 conference proceedings, Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC), BCS, pp 1–8.  https://doi.org/10.14236/ewic/eva2017.1
  7. Bowen JP, Giannini T, Polmeer G, Gannis C, Gardiner J, Kearney J, Wands B, Weinel, J (2018) States of being: art and identity in digital space and time. In: Bowen JP, Weinel J, Diprose G, Lambert N (eds) EVA London 2018 conference proceedings, Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC), BCS, pp 1–7.  https://doi.org/10.14236/ewic/eva2018.1
  8. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018). archivists, curators, and museum workers. occupational outlook handbook. Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor, USA. 2 July 2018. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/curators-museum-technicians-and-conservators.htm. Accessed 16 Jan 2019
  9. Carvalho A, Matos A, Sarmento Pizarro MM (2018) Skills for digital transformation in museums: the Mu.Sa project. Midas. 9 2018. https://journals.openedition.org/midas/1463. Accessed Jan 16 Jan 2019
  10. Cascone S (2018) What is a ‘narrative art museum’? 6 Things to Expect from George Lucas’s New LA Museum. Artnet News. 17 Apr 2018. https://news.artnet.com/art-world/what-is-a-narrative-art-museum-george-lucas-1258994. Accessed 16 Jan 2019
  11. Connors M (2018) The New York Times Art Leaders Network Conference Recap. Incollect. 25–26 Apr 2018. https://www.incollect.com/articles/the-new-york-times-art-leaders-network-conference-recap. Accessed 16 Jan 2019
  12. DCMS (2018). Culture is digital—executive summary. Department for digital, culture, media & sport, UK. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/686725/Culture_is_Digital_Executive_summary__1_.pdf. Accessed 17 Jan 2019
  13. Giannini T, Bowen JP (2014) The Brooklyn visual heritage website: brooklyn’s museums and libraries collaborate for project CHART. MW2014: Museums and the Web 2014, Baltimore, USA, 2–5 April 2014. https://mw2014.museumsandtheweb.com/paper/the-brooklyn-visual-heritage-website/. Accessed 26 Jan 2019
  14. Giannini T, Bowen JP (2015) A New York Museums and Pratt partnership: building web collections and preparing museum professionals for the digital world. MW2015: Museums and the Web 2015, Chicago, USA. 8–11 Apr 2015. https://mw2015.museumsandtheweb.com/paper/a-new-york-museums-and-pratt-partnership-building-web-collections-and-preparing-museum-professionals-for-the-digital-world/. Accessed 26 Jan 2019
  15. Giannini T, Bowen JP (2016) Curating digital life and culture: art and information. In: Bowen JP, Diprose G, Lambert N (eds) EVA London 2016 conference proceedings, Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC), BCS, pp 237–244.  https://doi.org/10.14236/ewic/eva2016.46
  16. Giannini T, Bowen JP (2017) Life in code and digits: when Shannon met Turing. In: Bowen JP, Diprose G, Lambert N (eds) EVA London 2017 conference proceedings, Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC), BCS, pp 51–58.  https://doi.org/10.14236/ewic/eva2017.9
  17. Hayot E (2018) The humanities as we know them are doomed. Now What? The Chronicle of Higher Education. 1 July 2018. https://www.chronicle.com/article/The-Humanities-as-We-Know-Them/243769. Accessed 16 Jan 2019
  18. Jackson F (1982) Epiphenomenal qualia. Philos Q 32(127):127–136. 1 Apr 1982.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2960077CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jackson F (1986) What Mary Didn’t Know. J Philos 83(5):291–295. May 1986.  https://doi.org/10.2307/2026143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McLean S (2017) A New LA Landmark: The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. Dunne-Edwards. 12 Jan 2017. https://www.dunnedwards.com/colors/specs/posts/a-new-la-landmark-the-lucas-museum-of-narrative-art Accessed 16 Jan 2019
  21. Museum-ID (n.d.). The #FutureMuseum Project: what will museums be like in the future? Museum Identity Ltd. http://museum-id.com/the-futuremuseum-project-what-will-museums-be-like-in-the-future-essay-collection/. Accessed 16 Jan 2019
  22. Neuendorf, H. (2018a) ‘Simply Not a Good Look’: Activists Criticize the Brooklyn Museum’s Hiring of a White African Art Curator. Artnet News, April 5, 2018. https://news.artnet.com/art-world/brooklyn-museum-white-african-art-curator-1260662 (accessed January 16, 2019)
  23. Neuendorf H (2018b) LACMA and Arizona State University Team Up for a New Grad Program Aimed at Diversifying Museum Leadership. Artnet News. 9 May 2018. https://news.artnet.com/art-world/lacma-asu-museum-graduate-program-1282433. Accessed 26 Jan 2019
  24. New York Times Conferences (2018a) The future of art museums. Art Leaders Network 2018, The New York Times Conferences. YouTube. 27 Apr 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXwKjQJN2PU. Accessed 26 Jan 2018
  25. New York Times Conferences (2018b) Closing keynote—art in a world of disruption. art leaders network 2018, The New York Times Conferences. YouTube. 27 Apr 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBACVJDRv6M. Accessed 26 Jan 2018
  26. Schonfeld R, Westermann M, Sweeney L (2015) The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Art Museum Staff Demographic Survey. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, USA. 28 July 2015. https://mellon.org/media/filer_public/ba/99/ba99e53a-48d5-4038-80e1-66f9ba1c020e/awmf_museum_diversity_report_aamd_7-28-15.pdf. Accessed 17 Jan 2019
  27. Silvaggi A (2017a) Museum professionals in the digital era—agents of change and innovation. Mu.SA Project MOOC, Museum Sector Alliance. 23 June 2017. http://www.project-musa.eu/blog/2017/06/23/museum-professionals-in-the-digital-era-agents-of-change-and-innovation/. Accessed 16 Jan 2019
  28. Silvaggi A (ed) (2017b) In: Museum professionals in the digital era—agents of change and innovation. Mu.SA Project MOOC, Museum Sector Alliance. Sept 2017. http://www.project-musa.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/MuSA-Museum-professionals-in-the-digital-era-full-version.pdf (accessed January 17, 2019)
  29. Sturabotti D, Surace R (eds) (2016) In: Museum of the future: insights and reflections from 10 international museums. Mu.SA Project MOOC, Museum Sector Alliance. http://www.project-musa.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/MuSA-Museum-of-the-future.pdf. Accessed 17 Jan 2019
  30. Tubach S, Lesser C (2018) In: New ways of curating—educators take note—20 curators taking a cutting-edge approach to art history. Artnet News. 20 June 2018. https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-20-curators-cutting-edge-approach-art-history. Accessed 17 Jan 2019
  31. Vankin D (2018) Los Angeles will be home to George Lucas’ $1-billion museum. Los Angeles Times. 10 Jan 2018. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/la-et-cm-la-wins-lucas-museum-20170110-htmlstory.html. Accessed 17 Jan 2019
  32. We Are Museums (2018) Humans versus machines: who is the better museum mediator? In: ECSITE Conference 2018, Geneva, Switzerland. Medium, 12 June 2018. https://medium.com/@WeAreMuseums/humans-versus-machines-who-is-the-better-museum-mediator-8be6938fe89d. Accessed 17 Jan 2019

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of InformationPratt InstituteNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.School of EngineeringLondon South Bank UniversityLondonUK
  3. 3.Southwest UniversityChongqingChina

Personalised recommendations