Musing Over Museums

​Select Tuesdays / 6 – 7 p.m.

What is a museum? What is the relationship between a museum and its community? Who do museums actually serve, and to what end? These questions will guide our discussions as we reconcile past cases and current events in order to shape a new outlook for the museum of the future. Our discussions will critically reflect on local, national, and international museums as spaces for civic engagement, teaching, and activism. This virtual program for museum lovers and professionals alike will begin with a lecture and conclude with small group discussions. Participants will receive a Zoom link prior to each session. This program will be presented in partnership with the Orange County Regional History Center (OCRHC).


January 19: From the Outside In
Why do so many museums look like ancient temples? How does a museum’s architecture affect our experience? Once inside these curated spaces, how do different interpretive strategies limit or expand our understanding of the objects within? In addition to addressing these questions, we will consider institutional critique as an artistic practice.

February 2: Whose Space is it Anyway?
What does an inclusive museum look like? Or, more importantly, what does it feel like? We will discuss participatory museums and the role these organizations play in establishing social equity.

February 16: Curating Tragedy

What is the difference between a museum and a memorial? How do you ethically and sensitively tell the story of a tragedy? Can museums inspire social change? We will work towards answering these questions as we explore national institutions committed to the preservation of difficult cultural memory.

March 2: Rupture Points

What objects are too sacred or too controversial to display? What happens when institutions fumble? Who holds museums accountable? We will focus on instances of public outcry and protest that have radically reshaped museum praxis.

March 16: Sites of Spectacle

What does it mean to have museums whose sole function is to provide immersive photo experiences? How has social media affected museums? Let’s talk about selfies. We will ground our conversation in the historic precedence that has led to this reimagining of many institutions as spaces of entertainment and spectacle.

March 30: Museums Without Walls

How did museums respond to COVID-19? What role will technology play in crafting the museum of tomorrow? In what ways are museums addressing concerns over accessibility? By untying a museum from its physical location, we may open to new possibilities, creative thinking, and audiences. But what may be lost in the process?


Visitors - $120
OMA and OCRHC Members – $100*
Emerging Museum Professionals – $80*

*OCRHC Members and Emerging Museum Professionals must call 407.896.4231 ext. 261 to register and receive applicable discount. Additional verification may be required, including a Membership ID number, proof of current or recent employment at a museum, or proof of current or recent enrollment in a related collegiate program.


Please call 407.896.4231 ext. 262 or email to register or use the link below.

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