On the occasion of ICOM’s 75th Anniversary, ICOM Voices invites you to take a deep dive into the organisation’s history by publishing two speeches made by museum professionals about their experiences and projects relating to a variety of timeless, evolving and relevant topics.
This special feature — ICOM Voices Past — is an opportunity to gain new perspectives on contemporary challenges by drawing inspiration from these testimonies from ICOM’s past. The texts that we have selected for you this month are transcripts of speeches that were given during two of ICOM’s General Conferences that took place in London in 1950 and in Washington, D.C. in 1976 respectively.
Art museums and education
P.M. Bardi, curator at the Museu de Arte, São Paulo, Brazil.
In this first offering from ICOM Voices Past, taken from the proceedings of the second General Conference organised by ICOM in London in July 1950, P.M. Bardi, curator at the Museu de Arte in São Paulo, sheds light on the driving force behind this institution. He invokes an education-based and accessibility-focused strategy for welcoming visitors and students regardless of their nationality, by means of several inclusive activities such as exhibitions, discussions, concerts and events geared towards all generations.
A world away from today’s technologies, P.M. Bardi paints the picture of a museum deeply committed to young people, aware of its role in society and the challenges of its time. Inaugurated in 1947, the Museu de Arte in São Paulo, with its modern brutalist facade, remains one of the country’s most significant cultural centres to this day.