The Public Museum: A Place of Cultural Definition or Cultural Exchange?
Over the last century, museums have come to serve as the repositories of the emblems of culture, with representations of who we are and how we see the world. But, whose view is represented? Does a museum have a social responsibility to see the world from the eyes of all or is it enough to represent a singular point of view? Who constitutes a museum’s stakeholders, and what relationship should a museum have to these groups? And, do museums fulfill a social responsibility by advancing cultural instruction or should they enable cultural exchange?
An argument is presented for defining the role of the museum as that of an institution which should engage its potential public. It reviews the evolving role of the museum over time and presents a case for making the museum a place of cultural exchange rather than a place where a dominant culture presents concepts and standards to peripheral groups.
Keywords: Arts Management, Stakeholder, Social Responsibility
Dr. Robert Klonoski
Assistant Professor, Business Administration, Mary Baldwin College
He has published on the topic of the organization and management of artists' cooperatives.