After more than five years at the Museu Picasso, working on a wide range of projects, but especially on matters relating to the web and social networks, it feels strange to be writing a last post here. Anyway, I thought that a good way to say goodbye would be to publish a selection of my photos of members of the public looking at works by Picasso in museums around the world. In any museum, one of the most interesting things to look at — alongside the works on show and the design and layout of the museum itself — is the public. Some time ago I started a series of albums on Flickr of the museum public: visitors looking, taking photos, talking, teaching, enjoying, interacting, reading, exploring, copying, listening, sharing and more bring to light the many forms and shades of experience in museums. And we still need to do even more to enhance the quality of this visitor experience, making it richer and more diverse.
I took advantage of the November holiday to do some sightseeing in the land of cheese, chocolate, bicycles, windmills and canals. No sooner had we arrived in the Netherlands than we headed for Bruges, in Belgium, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000, and then on to Amsterdam, where as well as a lot of canals and bicycles there are also plenty of museums.
How are social and technological changes affecting learning? What can our museums and heritage centres do to provide or co-produce inspiring and meaningful online educational resources for different publics? Janine Sprünker has dealt with all of this and more in her thesis, which we have asked her to summarize so as to share it with you in our blog. The thesis has been distinguished with a well-deserved summa cum laude. Congratulations, Janine, and thanks for condensing several years of research and hundreds of pages for us here!
On July 1, I defended the thesis entitled ‘Heritage Education Using Online Educational Resources with Cultural Content and Learning Networks’ before the UOC open university. Before attempting to summarize the thesis I would like to thank the Museu Picasso and Conxa Rodà for inviting me to write this post and giving me the opportunity to share with you some of the conclusions and one of the research questions that is challenging us again. Read more »
Here is the continuation of the selection of ideas put forward by students from the Postgraduate Course in Museum Management. As you can see, the new waves of museum people have plenty of critical force. Let’s listen carefully to what they have to say.
Intelligent interactive museography: not to trivialization
‘Currently, we can still find museums that belong in the nineteenth century, and others that have exaggerated the formula and become theme parks for family fun.’
Núria C. Read more »
What role should museums have today? What are they like? What should they be like? We asked the students on the Postgraduate Course in Museum Management to reflect on these questions when they were still in the first term. The result was a first-rate collection of ideas, criticisms, questions and suggestions. What we offer you here is a selection — hard to make, I can assure you! — grouped by sub-theme. As you will see, in some of their formulations they have really put into practice what we asked them to do in applying a critical eye. You will also see that there are conflicting opinions. That is the strength and the beauty of collective participation — a participation that we in the museums are still learning to encourage and integrate.
So as not breach any blogger laws about the length of articles, this post will be in two parts.
It seems that the little romance between Wikipedia and the museums in recent months is now official. So much so that a Wikipedia Lounge was set up at Communicating the Museum, one of the most important conferences dealing with communication in the sector, held a few days in Düsseldorf, to which I had the good fortune to be invited.
The first edition of the new Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Management, run jointly by the Museu Picasso and IDEC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra, has just come to an end and it’s time to take stock. We are doing an internal evaluation at the Museum, we have asked the students for their assessments, and we want to share them with you, the readers of our blog, and with potential future students of the course.
First of all, a figure: 76.2% of the students who took the Postgraduate course would recommend it. Of all the various indicators, this one is especially significant for us. This is not to say that we haven’t identified areas for improvement, which is of course to be expected of a project that has just started, and normal for a venture involving a large staff and a number of different partner institutions.
From moving forward in parallel without ever meeting to working together: this is constructive change of attitude on the part of two worlds, that of Wikipedia and that of museums, that for some time now have been exploring very fruitful lines of cooperation.
1,300 participants, 24 parallel workshops and several plenary sessions made up the Digital Agenda Assembly held in Brussels on 16 and 17 June, to which we were invited as a result of the Museu Picasso’s co-organizing of Europeana hackathons. The discussions gave rise to a wealth of proposals for ways of improving Europe’s digital ecosystem and making it more open, innovative and competitive. In a nutshell: more content, more accessible. This means ‘content’ in the dual sense of creating new material and digitizing existing, and ‘accessible’ in the broadest sense of the term, capable of being accessed, understood, co-created and reused by users in open and interoperable systems. Transparency, innovation and openness were the key concepts of the get-together.
That’s easy: the philosophy of making content and tools available to users. The Museu Picasso has a collection and the aim of extending knowledge and enjoyment of it to the greatest possible number of users. The Europeana internet portal, which currently offers access to some 19 million cultural objects, has the same aim as the Museum. The expert developers have the skills and the talent to make the data ‘play’ and extract open applications that are made accessible to the public.
This happy triangulation has proved an ideal culture medium, helping make the Hackathon event in Barcelona and the prototypes it featured such a success. Invited by Europeana, programmers from Catalonia, the rest of Spain, France, Italy and The Netherlands worked intensely over a day and a half to create a total of 17 projects. The venue? The future library of the Museu Picasso’s new Centre for Knowledge and Research, a bright and spacious facility with a great window looking onto Plaça Jaume Sabartés — a perfect setting for exploring and creating knowledge. Read more »