Saturday 28 September 2019

Reading list, 28 September 2019

The art of pricing - a new British report on ticketing in cultural organisations

Masha Gessen for the New Yorker: Poland's ruling party puts an extraordinary museum of Polish-Jewish history into limbo

A bit middle-of-the-road, but the attention Nicholas Thomas calls to valuing the relationships that museums foster is important: What are museums really for? (responding to the ICOM definition debate)

I was so surprised by how much I loved the Wallace Collection when I first visited London; reading between the lines here I feel like the new director came in and was like 'So, this no lending thing? Like, do we really think that's what she meant in her will? Really really? Really? But like - do you think we could maybe change it? We could? Yeah? Yeah, good. Good good'. 'Untapped treasure': Wallace Collection to start lending artworks

A Bronx Event Organized by New Museum Shut Down After Protest by Local Activists: a day-long event focused on climate change was shut down by protests from local groups opposing the New Museum acting in the Bronx.

Forest in a Soccer Stadium Outrages Austria’s Far Right - an art project protested for other reasons than you might at first think.

I loved Lonnie G. Bunch III's series of tweets (and series of tweets, Twitter's still a bit shit for aggregating ain't it?) recalling the opening day of the NMAAHC.*

Two deep dives by Erin Potts on current evaluation and measurement techniques for cultural strategy - an annotated reading list, and an analysis of current themes.

*Is that how you usea possessive apostrophe on the name of a person who's a III?

Wednesday 25 September 2019

On the radio - September 2019

In my monthly spot on RNZ's Nine to Noon programme, I talked about the debate stirred by the International Council of Museums releasing an update to their decades-old definition of what a museum is, and photographer and video artist Joyce Campbell's full-gallery exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery at Victoria University.

Sunday 22 September 2019

Reading list, 22 September 2019


Art Agency, Partners and Artnet News have partnered on a significant piece of research and publishing on women's place in the (American) art world. As the headline article states: Museums Claim They’re Paying More Attention to Female Artists. That’s an Illusion. Depressing and important reading.

In a similar vein - Emily Hartley-Skudder's pretty wrenching piece for The Pantograph Punch, The Power of the Pussy Bow: Fighting Back Against Rape-Art, recounting her experience on a recent residency in China, where another (older, male, European) artist made performance art about his attraction to Chinese women.

Fighting the good fight: Judy Chicago on Rescuing Women From Art History’s Sidelines.


This article makes me realise I'm definitely an incrementalist - and that I need to be mixed in with people who are not, in order to create change ‘We Don’t Need to Demonize Wealthy People’: Ford Foundation President Darren Walker on the Unnerving Aftermath of the Warren Kanders Protests

Philanthropy, but at what price? US museums wake up to public's ethical concerns - with comments from Daniel Weiss, Adam Weinberg et al

Second verse, same as the first How Rich Donors Like Epstein (and Others) Undermine Science (Wired)


Curated resources on diversity, inclusion, accessibility and equity for libraries

On curating difficult ideas A Nazi Design Show Draws Criticism. Its Curator’s Comments Didn’t Help.

A call for cultural courage - a slightly odd direct email from Anne Pasternak, director of the Brooklyn Museum (maybe just odd because emails like this don't get sent out often by directors)

How Lonnie Burch built a museum dream team (a sampler from his new book on opening the NMAAHC)

Saturday 14 September 2019

Reading list, 14 September 2019

Wow, I have a lot of reading to catch up on ...

Daniel Weiss, Adam Weinberg and other museum leaders speak out following the fallout from the resignation of the Whitney’s vice chairman and the ongoing Sackler affair - for The Art Newspaper

There was “next to nothing” about Muslims in the Brooklyn Historical Society’s century-old archives. Now there are 54 oral histories, which serve as the foundation for a new art exhibition.

The Amsterdam Museum will no longer use the descriptor "Golden Age" to for the 17th century:

The Golden Age occupies an important place in Western historiography that is strongly linked to national pride. But positive associations with the term such as prosperity, peace, opulence and innocence do not cover the charge of historical reality in this period. The term ignores the many negative sides of the 17th century such as poverty, war, forced labour and human trafficking.

The Wellcome Collection's new long-term exhibition Being Human has been designed "accessibility first" and has garnered a lot of well deserved press: No art lover left behind: how galleries are finally welcoming disabled people (Guardian); Is This the World’s Most Accessible Museum? (NYT);

A British survey shows that four in ten cultural organisations pay their junior front of house staff less than a living wage.

Lorraine Boissonneault for SlateThe Complicated Decisions That Come With Digitizing Indigenous Languages

Look, I haven't engaged with the Jeffrey Epstein thing at all so just dropping this in here for future reference: Martin Levine, Must Modern Philanthropy Be So Corrosive?, on Epstein's philanthropic relationship with MIT.

The Ford Foundation's president Darren Walker in conversation with artnet's Andrew Goldstein: ‘We Don’t Need to Demonize Wealthy People’: Ford Foundation President Darren Walker on the Unnerving Aftermath of the Warren Kanders Protests

ICOM shrugged off the vote on the proposed new definition of a "museum": Should Art Museums Be More or Less Ideological? After Pushback, a Gathering of Museum Leaders Refuses to Address the Question

Suse Anderson is teaching a new first-year course on museum ethics at George Washington University, and the course outline looks like a primer in contemporary museum discussions