In the summer of 2012, the authors of this study brought together a group of campus art museum directors and outside experts to 'think out loud' about the changes already occurring at campus museums and where new opportunities and roles may be emerging. We hope the resulting paper will further the field's larger, continuing exploration of its roles and potentials through dialogue, research, and experimentation—an exploration that contributes to the continued healthy evolution of campus art museum practice.
This study looks at a major building boom of museums, performing arts centers and theaters in the United States from 1994 to 2008. It is the first scientifically prepared study of its kind and was requested both by cultural leaders and major foundations that had, in many cases, provided support for these building projects. The primary goal of the study was to establish research that would serve as a basic and essential resource for any cultural group in the country involved in planning the construction, renovation, or expansion of their facilities.
The report identifies, synthesizes, and interprets existing research on demographics, cultural consumer attitudes, museum diversity practices, and related topics. It is meant to help the museum field explore the future of museums in a “majority minority” society.
The contributors to this volume use the Sensation exhibition as a springboard to analyze larger questions such as what authority the government has to withhold public funds; how to interpret the First Amendment; how to reflect the cultural and religious values of a diverse metropolitan area; and the ethical dilemmas of the relationship between museums and dealers in art.