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May 13, 2019

International Museum Day 2019 reads | “The Goal Posts Have Moved”

For International Museum Day 2019, we have selected for you a series of articles published in Museum International in connection with the theme “the future of tradition”.


White, H. 2016. ‘The Goal Posts Have Moved: The Implications of New Paradigms for Professional Skills in Museums’, Museum International, Vol. 67, No. 269-270, pp. 70-80. UK

A number of current and future‐facing developments and challenges in museums (and in particular the ways in which museums interact with users and audiences) demand a new range of competencies and mind sets. This paper looks at some of those developments including the concept of shared authority in the participatory museum; the opening up of collections for playful and serendipitous interpretation and re‐imagining by non‐curators; and the huge potential that modern technologies have unleashed for self‐constructed curation and learning experiences—and describes the qualities and skills needed for the future in the context of a large regional museum service with strong and varied collections. These developments are underpinned by the overlapping and ever‐changing interconnectedness of the physical, the digital and the personal, and the formation and dissolution of communities of interest, learning and enjoyment. It goes on to argue that some aspects of existing museum practice contain within them characteristics needed to explore and exploit new paradigms in the consumption and production of culture and information, and that these characteristics need to be foregrounded in museum training and recruitment practices to ensure that museums can be agile and pro‐active in their relationships with these new paradigms and processes.

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