Museum Committee Research Survey: Developing New Directions with College Art Association Member Input

Visitors in the Musée du Louvre in 2020 © Antoine Mongodin

Visitors in the Musée du Louvre in 2020 © Antoine Mongodin

In the spring of 2021, the CAA Museum Committee initiated a survey of our members for the purposes of revising current directions and charting new ones that respond to updated knowledge of their concerns.

The results indicate that the Museum Committee‘s previous and planned Conference sessions and professional development workshops in 2021–2022 are appropriate, that they should publicize their presence more, and should use these projects and others to strengthen connections with professional museum groups; encourage diversity, decolonization, and the use of museums to educate; in addition to fight for salary equity. In this endeavor, they ask any interested CAA members to join and help in this mission.

Key Takeaways of the Report

In general, respondents likely appreciate the recent focuses and activities of the Committee, yet wish they would also move forward in new directions.

Both the CAA panels and professional development workshops should be continued and can be used to achieve the following desired goals culled from survey responses:

  • Help publicize the Museum Committee more broadly.
  • Give museum and curatorial studies students, young professionals, and museum professionals, particularly those from underrepresented groups, necessary resources as they start their careers, and mentor persons who want to become museum professionals or teach museum/curatorial studies, including in concert with art history coursework.
  • Support the function of museums as pedagogical sites, especially during the processes of decolonizing and defining decolonization.
  • Develop and disperse a list of curatorial/museum studies programs in American universities, including those offered on conjunction with art history training, and perhaps have a dedicated space on CAA’s website or another location with a link on the CAA website homepage to publicly disperse this list.
  • Renew efforts to craft and chart the implementation of policy statements and best-practice guidelines particularly concerning salary equity and unpaid internships, among similar issues relevant to the field, and to do so in concert with professional museum organizations, such as the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC), American Alliance of Museums (AAM), and the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries (AAMG). One way to do this is to have present and future Museum Committee members actively reach out to persons within professional museum groups to create joint projects.

Check out the conclusions in the full report.

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