Ποιειν Και Πραττειν - create and do

4. Comparison between North, South, East, West

To draw comparison between different areas: North / South contrast, Eastern and Western Europe, means museums in different locations in Europe and in the world can really be compared. It might be best to start from the opposite premise, namely there is not much to compare as museums tend also to be the same everywhere with some variations allowed for to give local actors some space to articulate themselves. But this is not necessarily the case.

Naturally a comparison can be made between various museums dedicated to modern art but then Greece looses out since it does not have one to date (2010).

Any comparison will have to be a stark reminder that nowadays museums are just as any other institution coming under increasing pressure of globalization. With use of technology standardizing communication and forms of presentation, while requirements of the digital age force museums to adopt to not only general changes in society due to economic and geopolitical developments, but more specifically to the digital culture. Above all this means museums thematize and walk along a thin line drawn by virtual and concrete realities merging so much that a problem becomes how to let the visitor still experience the original rather than entering again and again another kind of simulation model of the past or of the objects meant to be exhibited. ‘Static elements’ impoverish experiences in museum and contribute to an overall ‘poverty of experiences’ (see here the thesis by Carol Becker about ‘museums neutralizing culture’).

One possible differentiation can be made along the axiom of use of technologies by museums. The more sophisticated use of technology is in reality the art of keeping them as simple as possible and nearly ‘invisible’ so that the museum remains attractive as a space of its own offering unique experiences since the senses and the imagination are spoken and related to.[1]


Museums in Northern Europe


Ethnological museum in Berlin – space for children to touch things as well as blind people but still the overall collection of such a museum is an ‘imperial’ one just as the Parthenon marbles being displayed in the British Museum are called often equally the ‘Elgin marbles’ to underline their acquisition.


-         if there is a difference between Southern and Northern museums in terms of being an imperialistic collection or not, then the articulated self understanding of the South focuses on survival while the Northern museums tend to evade this cultural question and use the artifacts to demonstrate linkage to Western Civilization as a whole. This goes hand in hand with assumptions about the evolvement of mankind not in evolutionary terms but by gaining superiority through expansion and exploration. The categories used in these museums begin with the primitive and archaic and end up in the modern times.



Museums in Western Europe


Location at nodal point in geopolitical terms: East / West / South / North

-         analysis can be made already within countries e.g. Germany – museums in Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne, Hamburg differ from those in Berlin, Leipzig, Weimar or Frankfurt a. Oder

-         compared to the UK where regional differences appear to be more important so as to off set the centrifugal sog of London e.g. Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland


From: Cheryl Corson <design@museumsontario.com>

Subject: OMA Conference 2005

Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2005 13:45:38 -0400



OMA Conference 2005

Redefining the Museum

Niagara Falls, Ontario

October 14, 2005


Join us on Friday, October 14, 2005 in Niagara Falls, Ontario for a full day of networking, thought-provoking sessions, stimulating roundtable discussions and an informative tradeshow! The OMA conference will be held at the Brock Plaza Hotel in Niagara Falls. This year's theme is "Redefining the Museum."


The OMA Conference provides an excellent opportunity for professional development and networking with heritage professionals.




Friday,October 14,2005


7:30-8:45 Continental Breakfast / Registration


9:00-10:15 Welcome and Keynote Address


Bringing History to Life, Bringing Life to History Charlotte Gray, Ottawa


In a material world, museums are well-positioned to tell the stories of our past through their fascinating and intriguing artefacts. But are museums missing the best stories? Charlotte will talk about some of the techniques she uses to grab readers' attention.


Charlotte Gray is the author of five bestsellers on Canadian history, most recently 'The Museum Called Canada'. The recipient of the Pierre Berton Medal for popularizing Canadian history, presented by Canada's National History Society, Charlotte was the advocate for Sir John A. Macdonald on the CBC series The Greatest Canadian. Born in England, Charlotte lives in Ottawa.


10:30-11:45 Three Concurrent Sessions


1. What Do Our Communities Want? How Do We Find Out?

Speaker/Facilitator: Barbara Soren

Sometimes we find ourselves preparing programs and exhibits that we think our communities want or should want. But how do we know? Learn some strategies for finding out about your community's needs and interests.

Participants will discuss how to find this information, how to make use of it and leave with an action plan for their museum.


2. Our Museum Collections and Collecting Policies:Straitjacket or Untapped Opportunity to Tell Relevant Community Stories?

Panellists: Brian Laurie-Beaumont, Senior Planning Specialist, CCI; Stacey Keller, Brant County Museum & Archives


3. Do We Need More Community Museums?

Our fiery debating teams, both "Pro" and "Con," have agreed to tackle the question we love to argue. Then ... have your say!


12:00-13:30 Lunch and Annual General Meeting


13:45-15:00 Four Concurrent Sessions


1. Building Community and Government Relationships What roles could museums be playing outside of their four walls? How can we work better with local governments to ensure policies are in place relating to the importance of preserving our heritage? How can we be good heritage advocates in our communities? How can we partner with other groups in our communities on special projects that benefit the community as a whole? How can we position ourselves as leaders in our communities?


2. Reaching your Community:Effective Grassroots Marketing

Panellists: Francisco Alvarez, Director of Communications, ROM; Larissa Ciupka, Director of Marketing and Communications, Art Gallery of Hamilton What do the specialists know that would help us in our community museums with little or no marketing budget? Francisco and Larissa have agreed to share their expertise and provide realistic strategies for getting the word out without big bucks.


3. Do We Reflect Our Community?

With a slightly different take on this topic, we've asked our speakers to draw on their current research, in Canada and internationally, and share their expertise on the role of community museums in society today, presenting controversial issues or sensitive topics, and to provide examples of how museums can address contemporary subjects that affect all citizens.


4. Heritage Community Centres: What Can We Learn From the For-Profit Model?

A Salon

Settle in for coffee and conversation with colleagues and consultants who have experience representing history and culture "for profit" such as "Olympic Spirit" and "St. Jacobs Country."


15:15-15:35 Roundtable Discussions

Share your ideas and experiences in these facilitated discussions


- Bringing the World to Your Community: Creating and Borrowing Travelling Exhibits

- Extending Your Community: High Impact Web Work

- Marketing Your Event/Site: Individually or as a Community Package

- Marketing Yourself: Resumé and Career Strategies

- Stephen Weil 's 'Fantasy Islands' Case Study


15:40-16:00 Roundtable Discussions (repeat of above sessions)


16:15-17:00 Closing Plenary


Reinventing the Museum and the Role of Leadership Gail Anderson


The role of leadership in the revitalization and transformation of museums will be the focus of this closing plenary session. Drawing on some of the key benchmarks of museum development cited in her recent publication, 'Reinventing the Museum: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on the Paradigm Shift', Gail will discuss change and leadership in museums. She will share successes and challenges facing museum leaders in today's environment using contemporary examples to illustrate her points with thoughts to consider for the future.


Gail Anderson has been active in the museum field for almost 30 years in a range of capacities, including Deputy Director of the Mexican Museum in San Francisco and board member for the American Association of Museums (AAM).

Today, Gail runs her own consulting business in California, Gail Anderson & Associates, focusing on museum management issues such as trustee development, strategic planning, and organizational development. She is the editor and contributing author of the AAM publication 'Museum Mission

Statements: Building A Distinct Identity'. She is working on an introductory text to complement 'Reinventing the Museum: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on the Paradigm Shift' (2004).


18:30 Banquet and Awards Ceremony, Edgewaters Tap & Grill




OMA website - conference section:



OMA Conference 2005 brochure (pdf):


Museums in Eastern Europe


Museum of Krakow

Highlights different periods of Europe – civilization and culture at a crucial juncture – and why the existence of the gravestones in the nearby cemeteries tell another story?


Dear Sir,

Please find enclosed a file, containing brief information about Małopolski Instytut Kultury itself and about activities we have planned for within the HERMES project.

Referring to your question about the person who deals with museum topics in MIK, I'd like to inform that one of MIK's projects is "Exhibition Dynamics". The project is addressed to regional gallery and museum personnel. Our assumption is that the museum is both a "teaching" and "learning" place, and a part of civic society. We organise seminars on the organisation of exhibition space, interactive aspects of exhibitions as well as meetings on developing and financing museum projects. This way we try to build a forum of exchanging experiences, and we offer an opportunity to get acquainted with new solutions. The coordinator of the project is Mrs. Joanna Hajduk.

If you need any further information, please let me know.
Best regards,
Agnieszka Szewczyk

PS. Thank you for your today’s message and the READER for the Volos workshop. We'll study the materials thoroughly.

Małopolski Instytut Kultury
Rynek Główny 25
31-008 Kraków
tel. 012 422 18 84
fax 012 422 55 62

60 museums in Budapest

The museums seem not yet capable of becoming what Tepapa in New Zealand or the National Museum in Australia would claim to be, namely ‘agents of change’ by entering national debates and positioning themselves with even such controversial viewpoints that the cultural breakages and even cultural wars become explicit.



Source of further information:

Budapest Observatory


Behavioural inequality

Here is a piece that cries for equivalent indices from other countries. The analysis of the recent national survey of cultural habits of Hungarian adults shows that the top fifth (by cultural activeness) of the population consumes more than 200 times as much as the bottom fifth. By consuming culture instances of visiting a theatre, cinema, cultural centre etc., reading a book was meant, based on the responses given to the interviewers.


Instances of cultural activity per person, per year

Top fifth








Bottom fifth


Average by person




Cultural road map

Those who commented on the table about behavioural inequality of an east-central European nation (you remember, cultural underclass consumes 200 times less than the culturally rich millions), will be rewarded with another figure from the same research.

The graph below is a device to point at the basic patterns, laden with the obvious simplifications needed for such an exercise. It is based on a nation-wide survey applying sophisticated apparatus and processed from various angles. But before you enter the maze of statistical analysis (and are lost), spend a couple of moments to observe the sketch and draw your own conclusions.

Again, the figure calls for being matched to comparable schemes from other countries. Let us hope that European co-operation will produce opportunities. Then, one will have to find out, among others, what is the equivalent of the cultural activity pattern that in Hungary is portrayed by frequent visits to community centres of culture.

East-West cobweb

This memo is short but richly illustrated. The spider web picture made by BO to show the geographic distribution of trans-national co-operation in the frames of Culture 2000 raised particular interest. See below the new edition of the East-West links, complemented with the scores of 2004. With the dynamic growth of eastern led projects in 2004 the number of instances when a western organisation was involved in such projects increased from 116 cases in the previous 4 years to altogether 180.

Compared to the previous such graph on 4 years, the actual cobweb reflects a few important changes. Slovenia and Czechia scored particularly strong in 2004 by winning projects and choosing a great many western partners, while the Baltic republics stayed behind. The lines that indicate the amount of partners selected from Spain have multiplied; also those standing for Austrian organisations have grown thick. The fattest line represents the ten German partners involved in Polish-led projects between 2000-2004.

The south, and particularly the north are visibly more airy than the dense middle, a feature that got reinforced in 2004. Looking forward to the 2005 results.

With kind regards – Péter Inkei

Regional Observatory on Financing Culture in East-Central Europe
(The Budapest Observatory)
H-1051 Budapest, Szent István tér 11/b
Tel: (361) 327 3829
Fax: (361) 327 3183

East Europe(Czech Republic,Estonia,Hungary,Poland,Romania,Slovakia,Slovenia,Serbia and Montenegro)





Czech Republic




Jaroslav Jerek Memorial




Josef Suk Memorial




Lapidarium of National Museum Prague




Libechov u Melnika Castle




Lobkowitz's Palace




Museum of Antonin Dvorak Prague




Museum of Book, Zdar nad Sazavou




Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague




Naorstek's Museum




National Museum Prague




National Technical Museum in Prague




National Theatre




The Naprstek Museum of Asian, African and American Cultures




Tyrs's Museum of Physical Culture and Sport




Vrchotovy Janovice Castle








Art Museum of Estonia.http:art_mus.htm




The Chivalru's House




Niguliste Museum-Concert Hall




The Applied Art Museum




Adamson-Eric Museum




Kristjan Raud Museum




Estonian Open Air Museum,




Estonian State Maritime Museum








A Csillagaszati es Liceumtorteneti Muzeum




Aquincumi adatbazis




Budapest museums.




Budapesti Zsido Muzeum es Leveltar




Csornai Muzeum




Deri Muzeum




Erseki Gyujtemenyi Kozpont Muzeum es Leveltar




Gyori muzeumok




Hajdusagi Muzeum




Herendi Porcelanmuzeum




Hungarian Museum of Photography




Hungarian National Museum, Budapest.




Jaszberenyi HAMZA Muzeum




Jaszberenyi Jasz Muzeum




Kalap es Sipkamuzeum Nagydorog




Kekfesto Muzeum




Kortars Moveszeti Intezet




Ludwig Muzeum Budapest




Magyar Foldrajzi Muzeum




Magyar Mezogazdasagi Muzeum




Magyar Termeszettudomanyi Muzeum




Magyar Vegyeszeti Muzeum




Matra Muzeum




Matrica Muzeum




Neprajzi Muzeum




Nograd Megye Muzeumai




Orszagos Pedagogiai Konyvtar es Muzeum




Orszagos Szechenyi Konyvtar




Rakoczi Ferenc Muzeum




Somogy Megyei Muzeumok Igazgatosaga - Rippl-Ronai Muzeum honlapja




Statue Park Museum




Szepm?veszeti Muzeum




Szolnoki Galeria




Tiszafuredi Kiss Pal Muzeum




Turi Fazekas Muzeum








Museum of Cracow salt-works, Wieliczka.




Oceanographic Museum and Marine Aquarium,




Saltmine "Wieliczka", Museum of Cracow salt-works,




The Distillery Museum,




Wawelu Royal Castle,






Anton Pann Memorial House


Art Museum - Constantza




Bucovina National Museum




Craiova Art Museum




Ethnographic and Folk Art Exposition Ciacova




Folk Art Museum - Constantza




Gh. Magheru Museum Center




History Museum, Ramnicu Valcea




History Museum, Roman




History, Ethnographic and Plastic Art Museum




Maldaresti Ethnographic Collection




Maldaresti Museum Center




Maramures County Museum




Miercurea Ciuc Museum




Military Museum Timisoara




Mineralogic Museum Baia Mare




Music House - Lugoj




National Art Museum, Cluj-Napoca




National Art Museum,Bucharest




National History and Archaeology Museum




National Military Museum




Natural History Museum "Grigore Antipa"




Natural Science Museum




Nicoale Balcescu Memorial Museum




Old Religious Art Collection of Banat Mitropolitan Church




Oltenia Museum




Personalities House




Romanian Literature Museum




Romanian Literature Museum




Romanian Navy Museum - Constanta




Romanian Peasant Museum




The Astra Museum of Traditional Folk Civilisation




The Banat Museum Timisoara




The Brukenthal National Museum




Valcea Art Museum




Valcea Folk Museum




Serbia and Montenegro




Regional museum of Herceg-Novi








Povazske Museum,




SNM-The Archaeological Museum




SNM-The Ethnography Museum




SNM-The Historical Museum




SNM-The Musical Museum




SNM-The Natural History Museum




SNM-Museum of The Slovak National Councils




The Museum of Jewish Culture in Slovakia




City Museum








National Museum of Slovenia, Ljubljana.




Museum of Modern History




Technical Museum of Slovenia












Back to Homepage







Baltic countries get first modern museum Estonia has become the first Baltic country to open a new national museum for its modern and contemporary art. Kumu, an abbreviation of kunstimuuseum (art museum), is a $50m building on the outskirts of the capital, near the president's palace. Designed by Finnish architect Pekka Vapaavuori, the museum has 5,000 sq. m of exhibition space (The Art Newspaper)






From: "Ginta" <vmm.ginta@latnet.lv>

Subject: Conference: The Place of the Art Museum in the Cultural Process

Date: Tue,  9 Aug 2005 20:23:41 +0300



The Place of Art Museums in Cultural Processes: History and Prospects September 14 - 15, 2005 Riga, Juras licis Conference Hall


International Scientific Conference in frame of the Centenary Program of the State Museum of Art, Riga, Latvia in co-operation with the State Authority of Museums, ICOM, Foreign Embassies in Latvia, etc.


Latvia, geographically and politically being situated between Russia, Europe and Scandinavia, permanently has been influenced by different ideas. In Latvia that in 2004 became a member of the European Union, this aspect needs a modern and actual interpretation. The history of the State Museum of Art, art collections' creating processes, various models for building and existence of Museums in the Baltics, Eastern Europe and particular West European countries will be examined both from the historical point of view and from the positions of present-day and future.


The Conference Program is designed to provide the generalized look into the past, present, and future of Art Museums, to show new models in modern life of Museum institutions, and give the industry's most active and creative representatives a forum to discuss their goals and methods.


This conference is primarily aimed at art historians, art critics, museum specialists, artists, interested representatives of various cultural institutions, Museum's Centenary foreign guests.



The Conference Program is designed to provide the generalized look into the past, present, and future of Art Museums, to show new models in modern life of Museum institutions, and give the industry's most active and creative representatives a forum to discuss their goals and methods.

Abstract categories are devided into four conference sessions.


Session 1: Historical Aspects of Development of Art Museums and the Present This plenary session will focus on the history and nowdays of the State Museum of Art and will provide the following issues: Architectural image of the Museum and its communication with urban environment. The re-building and re-forming processes in life of Art Museums in 1990 - 2005 and their evaluation in the context of development of Latvian museums. The present day of Art Museums in Eastern Europe - social, political and economical changes, problems, their effective and creative solutions.


Session 2: Museum as a Promoter of the Art Creation Process What is a modern Art Museum, and what experience do European and other countries have in this field? Idea of creation of the Museum for Contemporary Art in Latvia. Formation and developing of modern Museums in neighbour countries - Estonia and Lithuania. Aspect of preserving, documentation and popularization of contemporary art in the context of museum value.


Session 3: Traditional and Innovative Aspects of Activity of Art Museums Collections of the Art Museum and their real accessibility. Funds amassment and processing problematics, permanent exhibitions. Exposition and exhibition design, area's organization models. Exhibition politics and visitor. International project management. How to promote the Museum and increase its popularity? Image of the Museum in a society and reflexive feedback. Ways of Museum's promotion and popularization - advertising, actions, events etc. Museum and pedagogy.


Session 4: Future Vision for Art Museums in Contiguity with Priorities in Cultural Politics. Dreams and Reality Museum as an elite treasure-house for the cultural values or the rest centre? Museum management, sponsorship, donatios, patronage and mecenatism:

building a dialogue. Strategy of development of Art Museums in Latvia

(2004 - 2014) and in other countries. Museum with a look into the future:

the city and the state. Status of a Museum employee in a modern society and the aspect of inheritance of the work experience. International Museum organizations and possibilities of their use. Prospects for Museum development in EU. Globalization and national identity.



Ginta Gerharde-Upeniece

Project manager, Deputy director and Chairperson, ICOM/Latvia State Museum of Art 10a K.Valdemara Street Riga,  LV-1010 Latvia


ph. (+371) 7325021, GSM (+371) 9421061






Museums in Southern Europe

Iconographic details and corresponding art and cultural developments will naturally focus on this particular interrelationship between religion and society. A key concept is the extent to which Ancient Greek Civilization until the Byzantine time will allow for other abstractions in order to link up with issues of ethnicity and cultural survival e.g. Greek diaspora and the Armenian tragedy (see Kapuscinski) leading to quite other ideas of housing art works and items of the past not in museums, but in normal functional buildings e.g. ship yards, coffee shops, barber shops as icons change from items kept in churches to mirrors reflecting what is going on out in the streets.


If DIKI in Volos shows in its library the study of a wealthy scholar, the imprint will be the learned society far removed from everyday toil and sweat when farmers were still under way on the back of donkeys. For a society to imagine life back then, here a fine tuning in to Ritsos or other poets describing that look out to the sea with a question if the ancestors had also left this shore never to return, then the weaving in and out of history becomes also a matter of policy and decisions by individuals or groups of people to preserve something unique. For example, in the shipyards of Syros a group decided in the eighties not only to build a kind of museum for what took place in the port but revive some of the traditional methods of making barrels, build and repair ships and what goes with it: food, drinks, dances, stories and even fights as they reflect social unrest, economic turmoil and even wars, revolutions and other events that come and go. While not everything leaves a mark in the individual, it is important how that inscription of history upon the tissues of society are traced.


So it is not surprising to see such events that mark the role of the icon while focusing on new technological development.


See remark by Giovanni Pinna about old laws in Italy (from the Fascist period) still governing protection and promotion of cultural heritage and therefore hopelessly outdated.


“Much has been written about the culture economy, and museums acting as manufacturing companies[2]. At the same time new laws and directives have been produced by State and Regions on the management of museums and cultural heritage. I do not wish to be sceptical, but it seems to me that as far as the management of Italian cultural heritage is concerned the only reference law remains the fascist Law no. 1089 (1939). The recent body of Italian laws have merely dented the surface, and have certainly not revolutionised Italian museology.” [3]








11th - 17th February, 2005, GALATISTA, Chalkidiki, Greece


Exposition of icons belonging to the Iconography School of Galatista and Presentation of the Art-e-fact platformGeneric Platform for the Creation of Interactive Art Experience in Mixed Reality”.


The event is organised by the Agapeion Foundation of Galatista and the "Ormylia" Art Diagnosis Centre, under the hospices of the ART-E-FACT, IST – 2001 – 37924 European Project.

At the opening day of the exposition, a symposium will take place with subject:

"Virtual and mixed reality technologies

for the advanced presentation of artworks"


The symposium will start at 11 a.m., at the Agapeion foundation of Galatista - Chalkidiki. Please, register your participation at " Ormylia" Art Diagnosis Centre, by phone or e-mail, till the 5th of February 2005.





Museum of Europe




In 1999 there were started discussions in Brussels about creating the foundation for a museum of Europe. Although this appears to be a good idea, the controversies surmounted immediately the organizers. Most apparent is that the mistaken identity of such a museum is to call it a history museum whereby who is included or rather excluded precipitates already the controversies.

However, there is the other risk, namely that Europe is becoming a museum but no longer an agent of change with knowledge on how to tap into a ‘moral energy’ based on the conviction of all wishing to move forward and in terms of ‘excellence of culture’ achieve and perform things which add to both the quality of life and to the reputation (name) of Europe as the place to be.




It seems a lot depends when comparing museums on how history, society and economy intertwine to create places of memories or rather museums were some of the relevant images and artifacts of those certain times are preserved. They are durable once their collections, exhibitions and events mark established traditions and allow the visitor to trace created customs or else what brought about changes in society and economy. This includes heroic deeds at both war and revolution and documents a kind of pathos of history when elevated to such heroic levels that school children are brought there to learn about the greatness of the nation’s past. Naturally the museum will have to win over the minds of these younger generations by projecting those images of the past beyond the present into the future. Of course, these projections encounter difficulties if boundaries change and with it also the identification process. The entry into the European Union poses such a challenge since safeguarding citizenship and cultural rights is no longer confined to the national boundaries but must now be presented within a European context. The policies adopted for and within museums reflect, therefore, a coming together of official policy giving recognition to cultural artifacts or what belongs to the history of a place and to its people while responding to what own initiatives have brought about in view of new challenges. Unfortunately this is still very much a conservative viewpoint and leaves museums grappling with the need to leave behind their cobwebs in order to go beyond just mere preservation and conservation work.



[1] See Carol Becker (ed.), The Subversive Imagination, New York (Routledge), 1994

[2] Luca Zan, Conservazione e innovazione nei musei italiani. Etas, Milan 1999.

Silvia Bagdadli, Il museo come azienda. Etas, Milan 1997.

[3] Giovanni Pinna, The intellectual organisation of museums, (unpublished) p. 1

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