Future of Museums, Museum Planning, Museum Trends

Museums and the Recession

No Comments 13 October 2013


How have museums* changed since 2008?  After putting together the last post “In a Perfect Museum World…”, started thinking how have museums changed since 2008 and the Great Recession.  Below are my observations, would love to hear from others how they see the effect on museums.

1. Museum funding from federal, state, private foundations and individuals has significantly decreased

2. Many museums have decreased staff, decreased open hours and or closed

3. Museum admission prices have risen to cover operating costs (although several museums have taken a different approach of free admissions and become membership based)

4. Museums are now doing more with less income, including outsourcing former staff roles

5. Museum audiences are now more demanding more to counteract lower discretionary funds

6. Museums are required to be competitive with each other for funding

7. Museums now use social media to engage audiences and drive traffic to “bricks and mortar” locations

8. Museums now use crowd-funding to fund projects

9. Museums now use crowd-sourcing to involve audiences in the development of exhibitions

10. Museums are now part of a movement of open authority

How do you think museums have changed since the start of the Great Recession?

* “Museums” include: Art Museums, Science Centers, Children’s Museums, Natural History Museums, Corporate Museums, History Museums, Zoos and Aquariums


“America’s Museums Reflect Slow Economic Recovery in 2012″

“Service and Struggle in the Shadow of Economic Recovery: U.S. Museums in 2012″

“The State of the Science Center”

“Museums and the American Economy in 2011″

“U.S. Museums Continue to Serve Despite Stress”

“Timeline: Museums and the Recession”

“The Recession and US Museums”

“Museums Exhibit Signs Of Economic Distress”


Museum Planning, Museum Trends, Types of Museums

What is the most innovative type of museum?

No Comments 09 August 2013

Which Type of Museum is the Most Innovative ?

What is the most innovative type of museum?.   As a follow up to the post  “Science Centers Leading the Way”  there has been a very interesting discussion in Linkedin Group “Museum Planning”.  Created a survey about innovation in museums by “type”.

Survey Results:

Science Centers: 25.3% (21 votes)

Children’s Museums 20.5% (17 votes)

Science Museums 19.3% (16 votes)

Art Museums 16.9% (14 votes)

Natural History Museums 8.4% (7 votes)

History Museums 8.4% (7 votes)

Corporate Museums 1.2% (1 Votes)

For the purposes of the survey I made a distinction between Science Center (non-collecting) and Science Museum (collecting), if I add the Science Center results with the Science Museum results,  the results would be 45.7% (37 Votes).   In many ways I see the perception in museums just as important as the actual results.  Visitors expect Art Museums to support innovation in Art, but necessarily in the institution and visitors expect innovation in Science Centers.  What do others think?  Please take the survey, and add your voice to the conversation in the linkedin group, Linkedin group link.



Future of Museums, Museum Planning, Museum Trends

Museum Trends

No Comments 14 October 2012

What will the museum of the future look like?

I am thinking about how to go about answering that question.  As part of the  process I have created museumtrends.org a microblog to use as a scrapbook to collect thinking about the future of museums.  My hope is to create a collaborative forum for discussion on the topic and use museumtrends.org as the record of the conversation.  As a first pass, I have some thoughts about the future of museums to get the conversation going.

I welcome suggestions and comments!

Thanks, Mark

Museum Trends, for the week ending October 14, 2012

Museum Crowdsourcing:

Museum Crowdsourcing Resource Guide, SFMOMA, Art Micro HubsMuseum volunteer from Anywhere

Future Business Models:

Tesla Museum Fund Raising,

Using the Museum as a Canvas:

Anish Kapor, “Olor a Nuevo” by Fritzia Irizar

Open Source Mobile Museum App:

MuseumMobile Wiki,  Tap Into Museums

Artist based Destinations:

James Turrell’s Skyspace at Rice University

Open Authority:

Museums and Open Authority,

Artists using emerging technologies:

Manta Rhei, Richard Dupont


Museum Trends

Museum Trends

No Comments 02 April 2012

"Trends Map" from Now and Next


Weekly news about museum trends, museum planning, museum exhibition design, the future of museums and interactive kinetic sculpture for the week of March 30,2012.

Museum Planner Related:

After speaking with an artist who couldn’t afford to visit the museum where he worked posted “Museums are for the Rich”

Posted a how to: “Museums and the Internet”

Posted video of “Alcatraz: Life on the Rock” at Liberty State Park 

Created a new group on Linkedin “Museum Planning” hope you will join!

Thank you to all of new sponsors !  There are still three spots available for $25 per month

Updated “Interactive Kinetic Artists” on Vimeo, hope you will join!

Trends, this week, “Pop up museums” and delivery of digital content

The nature of delivering educational material is changing:

MIT Free Online Classes

Singularity University, another profit / non profit collaboration

Interactive Art

Speedy Toy Cars Blur The Boundaries Of Sculpture, Chris Burden at LACMA

My favorite Art work of the week!, “Tape Recorders” (2011) by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer on Vimeo

Gaming in Museums:

Integrating Minecraft into the Museum

Museum Marketing:

Museums should copy the Damien Hirst Spot Challenge, The most interesting part of the exhibition! “The Spot Challenge”

Exhibition Design:

This is the future! Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service Build it from supplied blueprints

Museum News:

“Museum Hacker?”, Amazing story of a French Artist Underground, breaking into museums to “restore” Art

My favorite gallery of the my day of gallery hopping, Eyebeam

“Pop Up” Museum:

BMW Guggenheim Lab, Mobile Museum, Model of the future of museums

“24 Hours Museum” Prada “Museum”, I love the concept a “pop up” museum

Digital Content

Nicely done, Interactive iPad Museum Catalog at University of Virginia Art Museum

Europeana, Online database of European Cultural Heritage

Museum Trends

Museum Trends

1 Comment 17 February 2012

"Trends Map" from Now and Next

Weekly news about museum trends, museum planning, museum exhibition design, the future of museums and interactive kinetic sculpture for the week of February 17, 2012.

Museum Planner Related:

After three years of supporting Museumplanner.org on my own, I am now accepting sponsorships, Banner $50, Sidebar $25

Posted a list of the worlds most attended Science Centers  Hard to believe, but is no international data on Science Center attendance.

Posted my reactions of my visit to the Holocaust Museum  A wonderful reminder that museums can change lives.

a Video Blog on Vimeo Interactive Kinetic Art

I am back from installing “Alcatraz: Life on the Rock” at Liberty State Park, will post the Press Release

A listing of exhibitions related to Climate Change at our climateexhibit.org website

Interested in the latest from Museum Planner? Use the RSS feed

Uploaded video of The Tech Museum “Silicon Valley Innovation Gallery”, worked as Exhibition Producer

Just sent off the “Project Brief” for designing a new Children’s Museum in Eastern Europe

Trends, this week, Data Visualization, “Curation” and Photos in Museums ?

Data Visualization:

Too cool, open source software for artists Processing.org

Wonderful afternoon with Hotpixel discussing Data Visualization

Edward Tufte “Envisioning Information

Selected Works of Jer Thorp

[nytlabs] Project Cascade

“We Feel Fine” / by Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar, Data Viz of feelings

Fantastic visulaization of the NYC subway

Eyeo Festival, Data Viz, Interactive Arts Festival

Great work by Kultnation

Offf, Barcelona

FIBER Space, Festival 2012

Future Trends Related to Museums

Interesting “curation” is the next step for Twitter

Curation and Web 3.0

Interactive Kinetic Art:

Roxy Paine “Scumak No. 2″ at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Fantastic curated website of interactive projects,CreativeApplications.Net

Great light artist Leo Villareal

Bruce Munro – Starturn at the Holburne Museum

A new favorite artist, Doug Wheeler, Light and space pioneer

Wonderful work by Martin Klimas, martin-klimas.de, “what does music look like?” 

New Exhibition at MCA “Rafael Lozano-Hemmer Recorders” 

Wow, is this nice work! Rafael Lozano-Hemmer – Projects

Beautiful work by Casey Reas, “Network B, a.k.a. Process 4 (Installation 3)” 

Visited the wonderful exhibition Sarah Sze at the Asia Society

A creative community making marvelous models, Soda Play

Online Collections:

Online Guides : Denver Museum of Nature & Science

Great report of European Science Center Benchmarks

Smart Phones, Tablets:

29% own either a tablet or an ereader, according to the latest study from Pew Internet

For Profit / Non Profit ?

Getting my head around Children’s Museum franchises, What is lost with a “for profit?”, kidzania.com , gymboreeclasses.com


A Painful Farewell to Saab’s Heritage, selling of the museum collection

France plans to open Napoleonland

So far 13 “Yes”, Museums should allow photos, 1 “No” museums should not allow photos

Amazing, Scribblenauts, a self directed game, create your own game as you go

Tragic spectacle that is Maurizio Cattelan, visited today, Way towards 1/3 Spectacle, 1/3 Education, 1/3 Erudite 

Attendance at the MOMA drops 11%, Met admissions rise,“We may be seeing a return to the era of the blockbuster”

Hub Museums:

Wonderful Arts and Science Center, London, The Arts Catalyst 

New Museum, Hub Museum

Museum Trends

Museum Trends

No Comments 09 January 2012

"Trends Map" from Now and Next

Weekly news about museum trends, museum planning, the future of museums and interactive kinetic sculpture for the week ending January 9, 2012.

Museum Planner Related:

Posted “2010 Top Art Museums”, part of research into “bricks and mortar” vs. online museum experience, Link
Posted “Getting Started in Museums”,Link
Museum Planner in 2012 Link
Just posted about my experience as a juror for the “2011 Solar Decathlon”, Link
Uploaded photos of Toyota Mobile Experience” consulted on interactive exhibits, Link
Just updated Museum Flight Simulator at museum – exhibits.com Link
Who is your favorite interactive kinetic sculptor?: Link

Working on Science Center Attendance:
Visitor Attractions Visits 2010 – Association of Leading Visitor Attractions Link

Trends, this week MIT free online education, smart phone apps, future of gaming, new media and the joy of quiet: 
Amazing !, M.I.T.x, Free Online Education For All, This is going to change everything, Link
Tate Modern Puts 121 Years Of Art History In The Palm Of Your Hand, Link
Reviews: four apps that look at objects, Link
Interesting overview, “Future of Gaming” Link
Self-generating Movie for Covent Garden Piazza, Link
The Disappearing Barriers Between Business And Nonprofits Are Driving Innovation, Link
Interesting article about digital collections, Link
Metropolitan Museum of Art and Google Goggles collaboration,Link,  Google Goggles Link
The Joy of Quiet, “how to stay ahead of the curve”, Link

Museum Reports:
Amazing report, “The Travel & Tourism Compeitiveness Report 2011″, Link
“Economic Impact Methodologies For the museums, libraries and archives sector”, Link
Interesting study, “The Impact of Science & Discovery Centres” A review of worldwide studies, Link
Just found a report created by the Whiteoak Institute for the American Association of Museums Link

Exhibition Openings:
Wonderful article in the New York Times review of ““ElectriCity: Powering New York’s Rails.”, Link
Exhibition: “The Art of Video Games” to open at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Link

Interactive Kinetic Art:
Nice work by Greg Pond, sound installation, Link
Wonderful list of Interactive Kinetic Sculptors, Link
Ars Electronica 2012, August 4th, Link

Museum Trends

Museum Trends

No Comments 09 December 2011

“Trends Map” from Now and Next

Weekly news about museum trends, museum planning, the future of museums and interactive kinetic sculpture for the week of December 9, 2011

Museum Planner

A year ago we started work on a 15,000 square foot start up Science Center. This Science Center had neither the time nor the budget to go through the typical museum design process; so I suggested a different approach…“A Better way to create museum exhibitions?”

Proposing a session at ASTC 2012 “Off the shelf exhibits rally”, using a “PechaKucha” like format. Each artist or exhibit supplier will have two minutes to discuss their exhibit (needs to be a stand alone piece) with a maximum of five slides.
Send Me an Email to be included

Trends, this week I found several really nice online museum exhibitions and a “Pop up Museum”:

New exhibition at Adobe Museum of Digital Media “Journey to Seven Light Bay”, by Mariko Mori, fantastic!,Link

Nicely put together virtual museum, Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum, NYT Article , Online Museum Link

Phoenix Design Museum opens “hosts limited engagement exhibitions”, love it! “Pop up Museums” this is the future people!, Link

Guggenheim and AMNH to include iphone apps with exhibitions, Link

Very cool !, 3D holographic visualization, Link

Too cool! Google maps adds interiors to Google Maps, Link

Faraday Curtain by Loop.pH, for “Waste Not, Want It” made out of Bloomberg’s waste, Article Link Designer Link

Museum / Exhibition Openings:

Bruce Munro, “Field of Light” at the Holburne Museum, beautiful! Link

NYT review of the SFMOMA expansion,Link

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi “on hold”, Link

Architect of the expansion of SFMOMA, Snøhetta releases images of expansion, Link

Cooper-Hewitt completes $54M capital campaign, Link

News of interest:

NEA announces $3,681,000 in CA grants, listing of CA awards, Link

California Association of Museums, survey on legal issues for museums, Link

Are you getting ready for Robogames 2012? Great event at the San Mateo Event Center , April 21st and April 22nd, Link

* 2009 Trends Map by Now and Next,  http://nowandnext.com/PDF/trend_blend_2009_map.pdf

Museum Trends

Museum Trends

No Comments 27 November 2011

"Trends Map" from Now and Next

Weekly news about museum trends, museum planning, the future of museums and interactive kinetic sculpture for the week of November 27 , 2011

Museum Planner
Posted links to the future of museum labels

Museum / Exhibition Openings:

Michael Jackson Museum on hold

9/11 Museum opening delayed, over dispute of hundreds of millions of dollars in unexpected costs

80,000 sq. ft addition to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, planned to open Spring 2012

Bollywood Museum planned

Really nice website for the traveling exhibition “Hidden Heros” currently at the Science Museum London

Possible new D.C., museum “National Jewish Museum”

“Out Harvey Wang’s Window” at the Tenement Museum

Polluted River as Art Experiment

Protests outside Crystal Bridges Museum, founded by Walmart heiress, 5,000 visitors, $1.4 Billion cost, $280,000 per visitor?

Hardrock Casino, NJ to include Music Museum

Samples of Einstein’s brain to go to Mutter Museum

New Zaha Hadid designed contemporary art museum at Michigan State University (MSU), planned to open April 21, 2012

David Hockney’s “Fresh Flowers” drawings on an ipad, at the Royal Ontario Museum until January 1, 2012

“Alice in Wonderland” exhibition at the Tate, well written exhibition review from the Telegraph


Great article and resources about museums going green

Interesting the museum of online museums

Articles of Interest:

“Libraries and Museums Become Hands-On Learning Labs”

“Calling All Boomers: Don’t Start More Nonprofits”, The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Artist Ai Weiwei under investigation by Chinese authorities over nude art

“Google Cultural Institute” starts to digitize artifacts, Dead Sea Scrolls

Museum of Nature & Science, Dallas, surpasses $185 Million fundraising goal

Sex Pistols graffiti being studied by archaeologists

12 million Americans from 44 to 70 years old would like to start nonprofits or businesses that solve social problems

NASA to start “tweetupsto communicate message, NASA connect page

Creepy ! What the museum of the future will NOT look like

Adobe’s better take on an online museum


Museum Next Conference May 23 – 25 2012, Barcelona

Art Basel Miami, December 1st-4th


Museum Trends

Museum Trends

No Comments 16 November 2011

"Trends Map" from Now and Next

Weekly news about museum trends, museum planning, the future of museums and interactive kinetic sculpture for the week of November 14, 2011

Museum Planner Blog Post:
“The Future of Museum Interactivity?”, Interested in comments and feedback

Best school for Museum Studies? for Exhibition Design? Interested in your thoughts!

Museum / Exhibition Openings:
Cheap trick to open museum in Chicago

Kinetica Art Fair 2012, February 2012

Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition opens at the Dallas Museum of Art

“Beyond Planet Earth: The Future of Space Exploration,” opens at the American Museum of Natural History

Crystal Bridges Museum opens, built by heiress of Walmart, anti-Walmart protesters

Princeton University’s opens “Art of Science”

BMW Guggenheim Lab Berlin to Open in May 2012

NYT review of “Eat, Sleep, Play” at Children’s Museum of Manhattan

Kohl Children’s Museum opens “Powered by Nature”

Review of “Pacific Standard Time” exhibitions in New York Times, fantastic!

Metropolitan Museum of Art opens new Islamic Art Wing

Ed Rothstein NYT review of the $70M remodeling of the New York Historical Society

“Electric is the Love” opens at the Laumeier Sculpture Park, looks like a nice show

Lawrence Hall of Science, Report on California Science Education, “High Hopes – Few Opportunities”, Berkeley

New Art/Science Affinities:

NEA report on 2.1 million artists in the USA

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, an international document on human rights

American Planning Association report “How Arts and Cultural Strategies Create, Reinforce, and Enhance Sense of Place”

Wonderful report from the James Irvine Foundation, “Getting in on the Act”

Job Postings:
Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University announces an opening for an Associate Registrar
Yale.edu/jobs STARS ID 14670

Articles of Interest:
Facial Recognition used to gather demographics

Space Elevator? Interactive Dinner Plate, Robot Office “Workers”, welcome to Google X

Lawmakers Ask Brooklyn Museum To Pull ‘Christianity-Bashing’ Film ‘A Fire In My Belly’

Does 3D printing infringe on Copyright?

Downey Art Museum “Melt Down”, fascinating behind the scenes dealing

Museum Trends

Museum Trends

No Comments 09 November 2011

"Trends Map" from Now and Next

Museum Trends, Museum Planning, the future of museums and interactive kinetic sculpture for the week of November 7, 2011

Fantastic resource for Sustainable Exhibition Practices
Exhibit Seed

Nicely Designed Guide to ADA Guidelines by Luminant Design
2010 ADA Standards visual summary of U.S. accessibility code for signs

Museum / Exhibition Openings:
Maurizio Cattelan: all retrospective at Guggenheim, New York
Design Bloom

Clyfford Still Museum to open this month
Architectural Record: Clyfford Still Museum Opening

“Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan”
National Gallery London
BBC: Overcrowded Blockbuster

New exhibition at the former administration building of Topf & Sons
Topf und Soehn Website

Brooklyn Navy Yard Museum opens Veteran’s Day,
Daily News Article

Articles of Interest:
Leonardo museum still trying to find it’s way, they don’t have a brand yet,
Deseret News Article

New bill in senate to eliminate $110m in funding to transportation museums, write to your senator.
AAM Letter to Your Senator

Decision Fatigue, great article New York Times, people spending more money now although feel worse about the economy
Decision Fatigue


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