Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, announced today the spring 2014 launch of the Global Museum Leaders Colloquium, a two-week pilot program created and hosted by the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Designed to stimulate and broaden international dialogue on museum management and collections care among directors from collecting institutions, it will bring together 12-15 directors, in particular from museums in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The colloquium will take place April 7-18, 2014.
Mr. Campbell commented: “The Met was founded as an international museum 143 years ago, and this global approach is now reflected in our collections, programs, and audience. Given the breadth and depth of our holdings, it is our responsibility to encourage a dialogue that can benefit museums worldwide, one that reinforces their relevance and encourages their appropriate stewardship. The Global Museum Leaders Colloquium has been designed specifically to address a broad range of museum management issues, and we look forward to welcoming our colleagues to the Met next spring.”
The program, organized by the Office of the Director at the Metropolitan Museum, will include directors of institutions with collections ranging from archaeological and historic artifacts to modern and contemporary art. Participants will be based at the Metropolitan, meeting with the Museum’s curators, conservators, and administrative staff and also participating in intensive dialogues about museum management.
The series of sessions held during the 12 working days of the colloquium will offer an overview of various aspects of museum operations—from curatorial research, collections management, and conservation to fundraising, education, governance, and digital communications—providing a 360-degree view of current museum practices, using the Metropolitan Museum’s experts and experience as a springboard for discussion. Site visits to cultural institutions in New York and Washington, D.C., will complement the program.
A significant portion of the schedule will also be set aside for open dialogue among the visiting directors, who will discuss strategic challenges facing their institutions and engage in workshops to explore timely issues confronting museums worldwide, such as how to formulate cooperative policies and how to advocate effectively for institutions at a time of scarce resources. In this way, the colloquium will function as a laboratory for crystallizing viable approaches to common challenges in museum leadership.
András Szántó, a museum analyst and writer on arts institutions, has advised the Metropolitan on the development of the Global Museum Leaders Colloquium and will serve as its moderator. “There is a surprising lack of opportunity for museum directors, especially from developing regions, to come together for a sustained exchange of ideas and expertise, said Mr. Szántó. “This global colloquium will be such a forum. It is founded on the premise that, despite our cultural and economic differences, institutions and their leaders have much to learn from each other.”
At a time when globalization is rapidly reshaping museum audiences as well as programming mandates, the colloquium has been created to promote strong, well-informed, culturally sensitive museum leadership. A key aim of the program will be enhanced international collaboration for all of the participating institutions and their leaders.
Participation in the Global Museum Leaders Colloquium is by invitation. Most participants will be museum directors, although in some cases the program will accept deputy directors or chief curators who have oversight responsibility for their institutions, as well as public officials with jurisdiction over museums.
The 2014 participants of the program will be announced by November of this year.