As museums worldwide shuttered in 2020 because of the novel coronavirus, New York-based cultural strategist András Szántó conducted a series of interviews with an international group of museum leaders. In a moment when economic, political, and cultural shifts are signaling the start of a new era, the directors speak candidly about the historical limitations and untapped potential of art museums.
Each of the twenty-eight dialogues in this book explores a particular topic of relevance to art institutions today, and tomorrow. What emerges from the series of in-depth conversations is a composite portrait of a generation of museum leaders working to make institutions more open, democratic, inclusive, experimental and experiential, technologically savvy, culturally polyphonic, attuned to the needs of their visitors and communities, and concerned with addressing the defining issues of the societies around them. The dialogues offer glimpses of how museums around the globe are undergoing an accelerated phase of reappraisal and reinvention.
CONVERSATION PARTNERS: Marion Ackermann, Cecilia Alemani, Anton Belov, Meriem Berrada, Daniel Birnbaium, Tom Campbell, Tania Cohen, Rhana Devenport, Maria Mercedes Gonzales, Max Hollein, Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Mami Kataoka, Brian Kennedy, Koyo Kouoh, Sonia Lawson, Adam Levine, Victoria Noorthoorn, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Anne Pasternak, Adriano Pedrosa, Suhanya Raffel, Axel Ruger, Katrina Sedwick, Franklin Sirmans, Eugene Tan, Phil Tinari, Marc-Olivier Wahler, Marie-Cécile Zinsou
At the book's heart is a thesis: that thanks in part to postmodernism (which, by championing multiplicity, overturned modernism's grand master narrative) the museum, as a concept, has come increasingly under attack...now, 'it's more about the visitor experience.'--Alastair Sooke "Telegraph"
Experiment and enthusiasm make this book indispensable for those interested in the way a diverse set of possible futures for the museum are being envisioned and achieved.--Daniel Herwitz "Financial Times"
Takes the form of both philosophical inquiry and pragmatic problem-solving--all enlivened by Szántó's familiar repartee with his sources... Contributes widely divergent answers to the questions of what a museum is, can be, and should be.--Karen Rosenberg "Artful Jaunts"
A new kind of museum is emerging--here's what the future holds...--Andras Szanto "Art Newspaper"
About the Author
ANDRÁS SZÁNTÓ (*1964, Budapest), a sociologist and founder of András Szántó LLC, is not only a strategic advisor to museums, educational institutions, and companies active in the art field, he is also the author and co-editor of many publications and works as a journalist for media such as The New York Times, Artforum, and ArtworldSalon.