The Future for Museums

Exploring the contribution of museums

Museums contribute to our knowledge, our understanding, and our appreciation. Museums contribute by creating an experience. Museums excite creative connections by contextualizing the experience.

Creative connections

Exploring our heritage
Exploring our culture
Exploring our nature
Exploring the creative experience
Exploring the creative journey
Creating our culture
Creating with our culture
Creating with our nature
Creating with our arts
Creating our community

Increasing the contribution of museums

Let’s Use our Soft Power to Build a Better World

When economists, urban planners and urbanists talk about creative cities, we overlook museums more often than not. Gail Lord and Ngaire Blankenberg set out to change that by asserting at the beginning of their book that ‘museums and cities are connecting in a soft-power embrace’.

Cities, which house more than 50% of the world’s population and account for 80% of GDP, are starting to exercise influence on global issues like migration and sustainability, but could cities more effectively exercise their soft power by embracing museums?

Considering that museums occupy some of the most valuable real estate in cities around the world, this seems like a no-brainer. But Lord and Blankenberg say that museums are more like ‘sleeping giants’ than agents of social and economic development. With the help of 14 experts from 10 countries, they demonstrate how much museums have to offer our rapidly urbanizing planet. For one thing, there are a staggering 80,000 museums world-wide and the number is growing especially in developing economies where cities are also expanding.

Museums are some of the most visited attractions on earth. They are education centers, employers and magnets for creative industries. But museums have so much more potential that the authors envision 32 ways for museums to activate their soft power. Cities will never be the same. And I bet that once they read this book urbanists will pay attention to museums – maybe even embrace them.

In Cities, Museums and Soft Power, respected museum planners Gail Lord and Ngaire Blankenberg demonstrate why and how museums and cities are using their soft power to address some of the most important issues of our time. Soft power is the exercise of influence through attraction, persuasion and agenda-setting rather than military or economic coercion.

Let’s Use our Soft Power to Build a Better World

What is Soft Power?

The ability to influence behaviour through persuasion, attraction, or agenda setting

What is a Soft Power Destination?

Places that people want to visit and engage with because of their influence, which comes from their excellence, relevance, sustainability, legitimacy.

Creating a Soft Power Destination – PDF

Lord Cultural Resources

We are dedicated to the creation of cultural capital worldwide, the value created as a result of the maximization of cultural resources. Our mission is to collaborate with people and organizations to plan and manage cultural places, programs and resources that deliver excellence in the service of society.

Lord Cultural Resources

Leading Cultural Destinations

Leading Cultural Destinations Academy is a knowledge – sharing and networking initiative for global and local industry leaders building cultural, social, environmental and commercial infrastructure for destinations and their citizens.

Our goal is to connect industry leaders sharing first-hand experiences with our attendees to create a manageable approach and ecosystem for their challenges and goals.

Leading Cultural Destinations Academy

Richard Florida
Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Global Research Professor at NYU, and co-founder and editor-at-large of The Atlantic’s CityLab

Establishing Vancouver as a cultural destination

Creative Vancouver

Creating Communities without Borders
The Aga Khan Museum
Connecting Cultures through Art
A conversation with Dr. Henry Kim – YouTube

The Aga Khan Museum
The Aga Khan

Aga Khan Leadership Team

Animals in Islamic Art

Let’s face it: The world has an Islamic problem
Globe and Mail, July 16, 2016

Canada as Global Leader

Where Hope Takes Root

Why Museums Matter

Why do museums matter? Where do museums fit in the world of other institutions and enterprises and in the world of digital media and in the world of learning what we know about, and how we are, and how things work?

Museums contribute to our knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of life, for our life, and for the creative experience of life.

Museums contextualize the experience of art, of artifact, of culture, of events which contributed to the creative and cultural evolution of our world and which could contribute to our creative and cultural evolution as individuals, as cultures, and as communities, and to our ability to create a better future for ourselves and our worlds.

How do we increase the contribution of our museums through their resources and their research and their expertise in contextualizing our experience, in creating experiences, and in creating opportunities to experience?

Why do museums matter to me?

I am looking for an experience that contributes to changing my experience of life, – how I see and feel and think about things, – and what and how I explore my live experience
I am looking for an immersive experience, a virtual experience, a creative experience which excites creative connections

What do museums contribute that the artifact, the art, the experience can not.

Creating context for the experience the museum is creating, and for the creative experience, the connections, the creative connections, the creative contribution, the cultural contribution to our understanding, our appreciation, and our evolution.

Creating a future for our museums

Creating a future begins by imagining a future. We are more able to imagine a future if we are more connected to how we got here and to what we have learned from our creative journey so far.

We create our future with ideas. Creative ideas about what we can do which we think will contribute to creating the future we imagine. We create a future for our community with ideas and interests we have in common which we can create community and creative enterprise around.

Museums could be seen as being at the crossroads. We could see ourselves at the crossroads and see the value and importance of the creative and cultural resources, experiences, and contributions of our museums community to creating our future.

Where does the Aga Khan Museum fit?

Why creating a future for museums matters?
Museum of Contemporary Art
The Contemporary, The Common: Art in a Globalizing World
Chantal Pontbriand
Canadian Community Arts Initiative

Embracing Canada
creating context for creative exploration

Why we go to museums
For the experience – for entertainment, – as a social activity. To explore the experience

IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

Dorset Fine Arts is pleased to launch a new partnership with the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA), located in Santa Fe, New Mexico. MoCNA is America’s only museum for exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the most progressive contemporary Native art. This partnership comprises a trio of components, a panel discussion and two exhibitions, each exploring the Inuit art of Cape Dorset. Located in the heart of Canada’s Arctic, Cape Dorset is widely recognized as the capital of Inuit art. The region’s distinctive creative output – particularly in stonecut and lithography – is produced at Kinngait Studios, the oldest fine art print shop in Canada.

MoCNA is located at 108 Cathedral Place, one block east of the historic
Santa Fe Plaza and directly across from St. Francis Cathedral Basilica.

PANEL DISCUSSION – Telling a Story: The Art of Cape Dorset
This initiative brings together art professionals and collectors for a discussion about Inuit art from Cape Dorset. While focusing on the celebrated history and enduring significance of the Cape Dorset creative community, the discussion will explore Inuit art as a unique form of expression within the broader international contemporary art context. Participating panelists include: Edward J. Guarino, Inuit art collector, Candice Hopkins, (Tlingit) independent curator and writer, curatorial advisor for documenta 14; Susan Kennedy Zeller, past Brooklyn Museum Associate Curator of Native American Art; and moderator William Huffman, Dorset Fine Arts Marketing Manager. This event takes place 2pm on Sunday, August 21 at MoCNA’s
Allan Houser Art Park.

EXHIBITION – Telling a Story: Inuit Works on Paper
Curated by Andrea R. Hanley, (Navajo) MoCNA Membership and Program Manager, this exhibition features the work of Cape Dorset artists Saimaiyu Akesuk, Pitseolak Ashoona, Shuvinai Ashoona, Kingmeata Etidlooie, Tim Pitsiulak, Cee Pootoogook, Kananginak Pootoogook, Napachie Pootoogook, Pudlo Pudlat, Kakulu Saggiaktok, Pitaloosie Saila, Jamasie Teevee and Ningeokuluk Teevee. Presented in the MoCNA Store gallery, the exhibition continues until December 2016 and all works are available for purchase.

EXHIBITION – Akunnittinni: A Kinngait Family Portrait
Loosely translated, the Inuktitut word Akunnittinni means between us. This exhibition chronicles a visual dialogue between an Inuk grandmother Pitseolak Ashoona, mother Napachie Pootoogook, and daughter Annie Pootoogook. Their artworks provide a personal and cultural history of three generations of Inuit women whose art practices included autobiographic narratives and have chronicled intimate and sometimes harsh memories and historically resonant moments. The works on display in the South Gallery are on loan from Edward J. Guarino and Dorset Fine Arts. Curated by Andrea R. Hanley the exhibition continues until December 2016.

Telling a Story – The Art of Cape Dorset

IAIA Museum of Contemporary native Arts

Dorset Fine Arts Legacy Project

INFORMATION or 416-985-0452

Rosie –

The Jewish museum in Warsaw is a beautifully understated, glass structure designed by Finnish architect Rainer Mahlamäki, winner of an international design competition. Three years ago, on the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, it opened on ghetto ground.

The museum is unique in Poland. The state is in charge of most museums, often promoting Polish heroes and ethno-nationalism. But this one is a partnership between a Jewish historical group, the City of Warsaw and the Ministry of Cultural and National Heritage. The governments provided the land and budget for the building; the Jewish group tells the story and finances the exhibitions. In 2016, it was named the European Museum of the Year, a first for a Polish museum.

The museum’s chief curator, Ms. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett explains, “The story was everything and the story had to be a thousand years. Because in a sense, the last thing Poland needed was a Holocaust museum; the whole country is a Holocaust museum. The Holocaust had understandably overwhelmed this thousand-year history. With the three million Polish Jews who perished, the world they created vanished with them, and the memory of that world vanished. And it was a moral obligation to recover that world.”

The Museum of the History of Polish Jews

Museum of the year

Take a virtual tour

Bill Reid
Creative Journeys

“Joy is a well-made object, equaled only by the joy of making it”
Bill Reid

Bill Reid (1920-1998) was an acclaimed master goldsmith, carver, sculptor, writer, broadcaster, mentor, and community activist. Reid was born in Victoria B.C. to a Haida mother and an American father with Scottish German roots, and only began exploring his Haida roots at the age of 23. The journey of discovery lasted a lifetime and shaped Reid’s artistic career.

The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art was created in 2008 to honour the legacy and celebrate the diverse indigenous cultures of the Northwest Coast. Bill Reid infused Haida traditions with his own modernist aesthetic to create exquisitely small as well as monumental work that captured the public’s imagination, and introduced a timeless vocabulary to the modern world.

Reid became a pivotal force in building bridges between indigenous people. Through his mother he was a member of the Raven clan from T’aanuu with the wolf as one of his family crests. Raven is known as a mischievous trickster , who also plays an important part in transforming the work. Many of these traits matched Bill Reid’s personality. In 1986, Bill was presented with the Haida name Yaahl Sgwansung, meaning The Only Raven.

Artistic Journeys

“I think the Northwest Coast style of art is an absolutely unique product, one of the crowning achievements of the whole human experience.”
Bill Reid

Bill Reid displayed artistic talent from a very young age. As he discovered his Haida heritage, and started to hear traditional stories, he became fascinated by the bracelets and argillite pieces carved by his grandfather, Charles Gladstone.

Reid moved to Toronto to work for the CBC, and at age 28 , decided to take a two year jewelry course through Ryerson Institute of Technology. He began to study indigenous museum collections and despite his relative inexperience, he was given the opportunity to work on several monumental pole-caring projects.

The 1950s-1970s were a turning point for Haida and other indigenous artists. Bill Reid immersed himself into the art and traditional stories of the Haida. He became a student of Haida visual language and mastered the rules and concepts of traditional formline design. Bill Reid excelled in many art forms including jewelry, wood carving, printmaking, and later, monumental sculptures in bronze. He referred to himself as a ‘maker of things’ rather than an artist. Throughout his career, Reid lived and worked at the intersection of two worlds, – Haida and European – and continually pushed the boundaries of Northwest Coast art.

Inspiring Others

“Well I don’t consider myself Haida or non-Haida or white or non-white. I am a citizen of the west coast of North America and I have availed myself of all the inheritance I got from all directions”
Bill Reid

Bill Reid believed in encouraging younger artists to develop their skills in Northwest Coast art. Earl in his career he was given many fantastic opportunities to enhance his own artistic abilities through community projects, such as working on a pole with Mungo Martin in Victoria, and carving the totem village at UBC with Doug Cranmer. Later Reid often mentored younger artists working with him in his studio and was keen to pass on his own knowledge of jewelry making and carving. He believed in tough critical analysis. Reid would use a thick marker to boldly outline his comments and suggested changes on students’ drawings.

In keeping with the traditions of both Haida and European artists, Reid hired many people to assist with his projects, even before Parkinson’s disease had diminished his ability to world physically. Many of the artists who worked with Reid over the years went on to establish important careers of their own.

The Art of Coastal First Nations

What unites many contemporary British Columbia First Nations artists is an understanding and admiration for materials, a demonstrated commitment to excellence, and a reverence for ancestral works of art. Ceremonial masks have always been an integral part of First Nations culture

Coastal First Nations people have been creating art since time immemorial. Historically, visual art was spiritual in nature and utilized in traditional cultural ceremonies within their communities. Each First Nation has approached the act of cultural expression in a different way depending on their access to raw materials and their belief systems. Many forms pay homage to their ancestors.

This gallery of First Nations Art is unique within Canada. It represents exceptional insight into the creative and culturally sophisticated minds of the Coast Salish (coast say-lish), Gitxsan (gicks-san), Haida (hy-dah), Haisla (highs-la), Heitsulk (helts-uk), Nuu-chah-nulth (new-cha-nulth),Tlingit (tling-it), and Tsimshian (sim-she-an) artists of the past collected by Michael Audain and Yoshiko Karasawa.

Audain Art Museum

Art Museums and Art Galleries

Aboriginal Art Gallery
A Cultural Mecca

Point of view

Luxury-goods billionaire François Pinault is racing to turn a landmark 18th-century bourse in the heart of Paris into a private museum by the end of 2018, spurred by the hope that art can offer solace to a country scarred by terror attacks.

The private museum will house Pinault’s collection of more than 3,000 works by contemporary artists such as Andy Warhol, Damien Hirst, Gerhard Richter, Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Agnes Martin and Cy Twombly. The interior is to get a makeover by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando.

“In the face of this barbarism, the only possible reaction is to move forward. As André Malraux said, ‘Art is the shortest path from man to man.’ That is what prompted me to accelerate the completion of my project in Paris.”
Francois Pinault.

The Pinault Museum