Posted: April 17th, 2013 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: People | Tags: culture, ideas, innovation, leaders, museums, professionals, work | 14 Comments »
Photo by Stefano Corso on Flickr.
Update 1 May 2013: Added new names and removed numbering (this is not a ranking!)
Update 19 April 2013: Added 8 names from email & comments. Many more to come once I’ve gone through the tweets. I’ve received many comments and suggestions about other demographics which are all great people as well (many of whom I know personally). For now I’ll stick to this list which is enough work already, but feel free to email me about suggestions and recommendations if you’re looking for somebody to do a project or speak at a conference, etc!
Some tweets spark more than retweets and replies and some questions deserve more than 140-character answers. Over email a leader in a cultural institution asked me if I knew inspirational, forward-thinking young women working in or with museums and culture, a question I forwarded to Twitter. The response was overwhelming and inspiring.
After frantically clicking through 100+ replies and e-meeting some of the most inspirational people I’ve met in years, I’ve decided to attempt to list some really great people and the work they’re doing. There is no order, no intention to be conclusive and definitely no good reason why you are not yet on the list, so please please please add your favourites (or yourself) to the comments.
Apart from being the response to the original question, maybe this list can serve to conference organisers around the world, organisations seeking extra hands or locations seeking projects as a source of inspiration. I’ve tried to give credits where possible for future reference. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: August 10th, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Thoughts about museums | Tags: community, do's and don'ts, london, money, museums, relevance, review, social engagement, theatre | 2 Comments »
Photo by sharkbait on Flickr.com
I love London. And, after the recent unsettling events, I would like to take a moment to focus on the city’s finer side: its cultural institutions and its arts. In times like these, I think, London deserves a pat on the back for being an encouraging and inspirational example.
London manages to show how culture can be relevant to (local) communities, socially engaged and at the same time straightforward about its monetary value. It does so in its landmark institutions like Tate and the National Theatre, and in its local initiatives that can be found virtually around every corner. And, by doing so, it provides a sneak preview of what the future of cultural institutions all over the world should be; institutions that connect and engage, within society, without going bankrupt.
One of my favourite places in London is the Camden Arts Centre. Just off the dirty Finchley Road its green garden and quiet café with free Wifi are a resort to parents with children, expat students and the like. The building is welcoming, the coffee is good, the shop well stocked. High quality exhibitions are combined with educational activities, regular evening events and family activities. Yet, that doesn’t make it any different from the many other arts centres all around London. What makes it great is that it is my arts centre. It’s local. Only ten minutes away on foot. And, it really is local. It feels like the local café or shop where I am known and welcome. (It is often the local café and shop.)
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Posted: February 1st, 2011 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Buildings | Tags: architecture, book, design, exhibition, future, ideas, interior, museums | 2 Comments »
In a couple of days we’ll present a book with sketches for future museums. The book “Sketches for a National Museum of History” explores possibilities for museum architecture. Kenneth Frampton and Hans Ibelings wrote essays, researchers at the Berlage Institute made design sketches, and three young European architecture firms, 51N4E, Baukuh and Monadnock, submitted plans to encourage thinking about a new museum architecture. I had a chance to look at the book and I must say it’s inspiring and the designs are daring and different from what you’d expect.
Yesterday we launched a small website to encourage thinking about good museum architecture. It focuses on six themes – connect, show, sense, open, move and site – and hopefully will spark some new ideas about good museum architecture. You’re free to add your ideas (don’t let the Dutch scare you, it’s a bilingual website!).
So, what is good museum architecture?
That, I’m afraid, is a question without an answer. Or, with many answers. The book explores how architecture can deal with certain characteristics of museums. For instance, how architecture influences the presentation of objects (“show”). The two examples below are from the book and show how a church and a museum built on top of a chapel show their objects. I like them both, but believe they’re very different in their architectonic approach.
Pastor van Ars Church (design Aldo van Eyck, photo m.by) and Kolumba (design Peter Zumthor, photo seier+seier).
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Posted: December 29th, 2010 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Inspiration, Thoughts about museums | Tags: audience, community, crowd, design, functions, ideas, museums, public places, unusual | 7 Comments »
Photo by kberberi on Flickr.com (CC BY-NC-ND)
Ask anyone what a museum is and most people will come up with an answer including a building and paintings on the wall. Or old stuff in displays. A somewhat older post by New Curator on the function of museums stresses education, inspiration, conservation…
A museum can be so much more, especially for its visitors. The following list gives some of the many things I’ve seen museum be and used museums for over the last year. It’s by no means conclusive. Please add.
A museum is,
- A flex work spot with Wi-Fi and good coffee.
- The perfect spot to finally read James Joyce or any other challenging book.
- A place to go on a first date. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: October 10th, 2010 | Author: Jasper Visser | Filed under: Inspiration, Thoughts about museums | Tags: conference, innovation, museums, review, wrap-up | 1 Comment »
Photo by Thomas van Ardenne.
The Dutch Museum Congress is the yearly get-together for museum professionals from the Netherlands. It’s a great event to meet each other and make new friends. This year’s theme was innovation and the pay-off: now even better. It’s location was the relatively new (and beautiful) Muziekkwartier in Enschede. These are my notes from two days of talks, presentations and random conversations with other visitors.
The conference opened with the sad news on the cultural cuts in the Netherlands. Because of them, more than ever there’s a need to work together and innovate. I was happy to be sitting next to someone of the Hermitage. Without public money (as far as I know) they built one of the most successful museums in the country. Their way of working is exemplary and gives hope for a future with less public support for museums. Read the rest of this entry »