Thoughts on our
A Summary of the AAMC
Conference’s Keynote Panel
By Rachel Mohl
It’s a daunting task to think about the future, but three
brave speakers at the AAMC conference addressed this challenge in the keynote
panel titled Looking Forward Ten Years:
What is the Museum of 2021? It
this time of economic difficulty and cultural uncertainty, their talks gave me
hope for the future of museums.
Paola Antonelli began by comparing curators to geishas,
which is a fairly accurate description.
However, as she explained, we are geishas with a noble purpose. According to Antonelli, museums should
serve as a role model and cultural inspiration for public audiences by being
environmentally responsible and working for the common good. Her most important
point was that museums need to establish metrics to prove their value in
society. She set very big goals
for museums, and I would love to hear her thoughts on how curators can work to
For me, Linda Shearer gave the most inspirational talk of
the entire conference. She spoke
about Project Row Houses, an endeavor that brings art and so much more to
underserved communities. By
converting shotgun-style houses condemned for demolition into art spaces, this
project creates safe places in a low-income neighborhood in Houston. I was truly impressed with how she has
used art as a catalyst for change.
The final speaker, K. Anthony Appiah, linked the future of
museums with advancement in technology.
He stressed access to objects, rather than ownership, through the use of
technology. In many ways, all of
the speakers promoted the same idea through different approaches. They all connected the future of
museums to these institutions finding ways to engage and reach diverse