Collecting and New Directions in Museology, MEWO Kunsthalle, Memmingen, October 10–12, 2014
Research in the history of collecting has often focused on the development and the uses of historical collections of art and artefacts, their composition and the choreography of display. Over the past decade, the international forum Collecting & Display has been investigating diverse aspects of Collecting History: female collectors, dynastic ambition, the role of nature, or the location of display rooms within the context of princely residences.
To celebrate the first decade of our existence as well as the launch of a dedicated series of publications – “Collecting Histories” under the editorship of founding member Andrea Gáldy, PhD, FHistS – we propose a conference dedicated to new directions in the areas of collecting, display, visitor experience and the use of modern media in today’s museums that might or might not dispel with the need to engage with actual objects, and whether and how the engagement with the history of collections has influenced and modified contemporary museology.
With this event we intend to look forward towards a future, which oftentimes looks bleak due to funding cuts but also offers exciting prospects as far as the diverse possibilities of display are concerned; not to forget the rising visitor numbers at many of the great museums worldwide.
What is the mission of collections and museums? And, how does one balance the history of collections and the collections themselves against the need for outreach activities, the call for edutainment and popular access in conjunction with a sustainable use of collectibles? Is there a way in which the past of a collection may point the way towards the best practice in use and presentation of the exhibits?
The organisers of this conference invite proposals from scholars of the history of collecting as well as museum professionals (curators, art historians, librarians, administrators, IT specialists) who intend to explore the intersection between scholarly approach to and hands-on occupation with collections.