There are a lot of very interesting things to tell about our day and a half in Florence. It’s unbelievable that we managed to do so much, despite the rain!
The 1st September was noteworthy in the museum world for an innovative initiative promoted by the untiring Jim Richardson, Ask a Curator. In short: 343 museums from 23 countries from all over the world put their curators at the disposal of the questions users wanted to ask them through Twitter.
The figure alone for the amount of participation is significant in itself. More than 9.000 tweets have been recorded. But I would like to highlight some other interesting factors. Read more »
It really feels like just a few days ago that we started this blog and the museum’s active presence on social media, but — believe it or not! — we’ve just had our first anniversary! To celebrate, we opened the doors of the museum to the online community one Monday, which is the day of the week we are closed to the public, to give our visitors the special privilege of having the place to themselves. Read more »
This post was going to be a report on and assessment of Museums and the Web 2010, the annual MW conference held in Denver, Colorado, from 13 to 17 April, about which Conxa already advanced some information in her previous post. The conference brought together over 600 specialists from around the world to consider issues such as the uses and design of culture websites, the management of online collections, the construction of social networks in 2.0 environments and mobile multimedia resources for cultural institutions.
That’s what this post was going to be, but something happened at the conference which made us decide to change the focus slightly — something we are very excited about: the Museu Picasso won the award for the best work in the social media! Read more »
Looking back over 2009, what can we say we are proud of? Of the number of visitors? Of course that’s important but not more than other aspects, although naturally we value and are very grateful for the number of visitors we receive.
However, what we really are proud of is the fact of promoting the educational programme, of having produced some temporary exhibitions that, as a result of the research, have contributed new knowledge about the works of Picasso, of having renovated the museographic presentation of the series of Las Meninas, of having restored the ceilings of the Palau Aguilar, of the increase in loans of works to international exhibitions, of having started the works of the new building that will accommodate the new services of Knowledge and Research, of having put the collection online, of having renewed the spaces of security with leading-edge technology, of having increased the acquisitions of the collection of the museum, of having diversified the offer of activities and with a multi-disciplinary vision, of having actively entered in the social networks or 2.0, of having invited international and national experts to collaborate with the museum.
Two notable activities have recently come along to assist the growth of the Museum’s Internet project. First of all, the Museu Picasso has been invited, for the second year running, to take a place on the International Program Committee of the worldwide conference on Museums & the Web and take part in the evaluation and selection of the proposed papers, forums and workshops. The forthcoming conference will be held in Denver, Colorado, and the committee includes representatives of such prestigious institutions as the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Walker Art Center and the Museum Studies Programme at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, with the Museu Picasso the only Spanish art centre on the committee. Visit the Museums 2.0 blog for a detailed account of the 2009 conference.
The recent get-together in Paris as part of the ‘Rencontres Web Musées’, on 16 October, was in the purest spirit of 2.0: informal and participatory and with plenty of substance supplied not only by the panel but by many of the delegates. The setting, the Louvre. The subject: Museums and Web 2.0. The content: let me give you a brief overview, and you can check out the presentations on Slideshare.
I could see that as far as 2.0 is concerned the museums in France are more or less where we are here, just starting to explore and discover the immense possibilities of communication and content generation that the social networks make available to us all, but a few French museums are at the cutting edge: of note here are the 2.0 experiences of the Muséum and the Abattoirs, both in Toulouse – the first science, the second contemporary art – or the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lyon. In Paris itself it seems that the major museums haven’t really got started yet, but museums are already showing a lot of interest, and the very fact of holding the 2.0 encounter at the Louvre is a good sign. I have a hunch that within six months or a year at the outside action on the social networks will have been integrated into most centres’ communication strategy. Their potential is much too good to miss, and the breakneck speed at which they’re expanding means that you can’t just sit there open-mouthed in wonderment if you want to really get on board. It’s not at all about following a trend, it’s about being present wherever the users are, talking to people and exchanging views in a multi-directional way, with communication being not only from the museum to the public, as in the past, but from everyone to the museum and from everyone to everyone.
There has been a lot of discussion recently about the current debate surrounding the future of museums.
Of particular interest in this regard is this summer’s debate between the directors of the British Museum and the Tate, Neil MacGregor and Nicholas Serota, and now that the Museu Picasso has just presented the new programme and new lines of action, which are beginning to become a reality, I would like to offer one or two of my own thoughts on the subject.
The museum as a centre of production and space of dialogue. The first thing that is needed is an exercise of self-criticism, in order to move on once and for all from the simplistic conception of the museum as a repository of heritage and offer more heterogeneous and more complex proposals, in keeping with the diversity of today’s public(s). In recent years, society has been evolving increasingly rapidly while museums have changed very little; they have not kept pace, many are still offering cultural products that are too static and rigid.
Participation on the Internet is now synonymous with 2.0: any company or institution nowadays that wants its Internet project to be participatory will obviously make sure to incorporate the tools that social networks make available. In the same way that virtually no museum today is in any doubt about whether or not it needs a website, a presence on the social networks is a natural addition to the active and activating presence on the Internet.
Museums around the world are slowly but inexorably coming into the fold. Those in the U.S. are doing so with real energy (the Brooklyn, MoMA, Metropolitan or Smithsonian are excellent examples), those in Europe, more cautiously (with the notable exception of the UK, especially the Tate, National Gallery or Victoria & Albert). In this country we are among the more timid, but still there are some interesting upcoming initiatives, such as the Guggenheim Bilbao’s WikiDocentes, the Facebook profiles of the Prado, Reina Sofía and Fundació Miró and Youtube profiles such as the MNACTEC_Museu Ciència i Tècnica de Catalunya).