On September 20th the third edition of Ask a Cura0tor was held. This is an international initiative that urges people from all over the world to ask the curators and workers from the museums specific details about the different museums and cultural institutions via Twitter under the hashtag #aksacurator. This year the participation reached 622 museums from 37 different countries and a total of more than 26,000 tweets.
Representing the Museu Picasso, I was were lucky enough to be able to attend the edition of MuseumNext that took place on May 13th, 14th and 15th in Amsterdam, thanks to an invitation from the organisers for having been joint organisers last year.
Now that a few days have passed, there has been time enough to put all the information, ideas and shared knowledge received in order, and I would like to highlight those concepts that seemed most relevant. However, much better than this summary, we recommend a visit to its Tumblr.
It is a well known fact that museums do not permanently exhibit all the works of their collections. For reasons of conservation or due to the curatorial discourse, a large number of drawings and paintings are systematically changed, turning the Collection into a living organism that is renewed and modified non-stop.
Our Collection is very rich in terms of works on paper – drawings and prints, that, for reasons of preventive conservation, oblige us to change them every three or four months. This allows us to exhibit all the works and even the smallest ones, which take on special relevance by being put in context.
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We recently welcomed Mark Bessire, director of the Portland Museum of Art, to speak in the seminar on collecting and sponsorship organized by the museum and the Fundación Godia. We felt that his experience in fund raising, although belonging to a very different cultural and economic environment, was not only enlightening but it also provided us with helpful tips as to how to understand the relationship between donors and institutions, so we asked him to let us publish it in our blog.
Artists founded the Portland Society of Art in 1882. While most American museums were founded by industrialists aspiring to gain European sophistication and to bring cultural education to Americans, we were founded by people who wanted to make art and display it for their community.
On the occasion of the exhibition “Picasso ceramics. Jacqueline’s gift to Barcelona” the museum presents a selection of prints that bear witness to the relation of the artist and the muse.
We have recently received a group of students from the Master of Arts in Museum Studies from the Johns Hopkins University, with whom we chatted about numerous topics of the museum. Among the topics there arose one question that in that moment we didn’t know how to answer, and it left us thoughtful!
With Bernardo Laniado-Romero at the front, a new period starts for the museum, with a lot of enthusiasm both from the new director and from the team of the museum. In his presentation of the new 2012-2013 season, he outlined the following lines of action:
Three intensive days of talks to attend, good contents and very varied – this would be a brief summary of the fourth session of Museum Next, this year held in Barcelona.
After completing the Postgraduate course in Museum Management: how to make a museum work, run by the Museu Picasso and IDEC-UPF, I did my postgraduate practice in the Museu Picasso. During the four months I was there my work focused on studying the museum in its environment, in relation to the surrounding neighbourhoods, in the context of Ciutat Vella as a district with a lot of history, which conditions its cultural present. This search for information reflected the museum’s commitment to developing a strategy that embraces policies of proximity and the importance of working with the local community around it.
Coming up with formulas to encourage the active participation of the public is still a pending issue in many museums. For the staff of these institutions, the presence of Nina Simon in Barcelona provided an exceptional opportunity to discuss this challenge, learn about the participatory initiatives being implemented in other countries and share experiences.