Reimagining the Museum

Art Matters Lecture with Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers

Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers, Ph.D.
Jan-Lodewijk Grootaers, Ph.D., Independent Curator

Museums have undergone serious scrutiny in recent decades, opening the door to a re-evaluation of their priorities, practices, and roles. Concerns from both within the field and broad sectors of the public pertain to accessibility and inclusivity, to representation and repatriation, to sustainability and social justice. Are museums about art/artifacts or about people? Should the focus be on objects or on stories? How can museums chronicle the past, depict the present, and become touchstones for the future of their diverse communities? This lecture explores the potential for museums to emerge as agents of social, intellectual, and ethical transformation. As stewards of global memory, museums have traditionally been tasked with collecting, classifying, conserving, and exhibiting. Increasingly, museums are counting on community members to enliven spaces, activate objects, and write labels. The lecture will provide cross-cultural examples of multi-sensory experiences, community participation, and changes in art acquisition—all practices that lay the foundation of more inclusive and equitable institutions.

Generous support for Art Matters is provided by the SBMA Women’s Board.

This event is in person at Santa Barbara Museum of Art's Mary Craig Auditorium.

For visitors attending events in the Mary Craig Auditorium, proof of vaccination is not required, and face covering/masks are recommended, but not required.

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