ICOM Scholarship Report AAMG Annual Conference - Why Museums Matter: The Teaching Museum Today


Mag. Lucia Täubler, Leitung Kunstvermittlung, Kunstmeile Krems BetriebsGmbH


I attended the AAMG Annual Conference from June 22 to June 25, 2017 in Eugene, Oregon, USA to experience new ways of applying art education in museums. The Academic museums from all over the USA and Great Britain showed a very clear and honest insight to how they approach students at 16 to 25 years as well as minors (K-12). Struggling with similar challenges like budget cuts in arts programs and cuts in creative subjects in the school curriculum, I was able to get to know many practices.


• how to target Millennials and inspire them to visit museums more often


Dustin Growick, keynote speaker and dinosaur lover shared his experience to invite Millennials into museums. He made very clear that wanted visitors like these 20-35 year old people need different approaches than minors or seniors. They want to be entertained, they want to explore and invent stories throughout the museum. I was very thrilled watching my colleagues joining him on stage to perform at Tableaux vivants.
Another question he always asks his group: “What would you steal from here?” and the visitors can imagine to take some of the great, old art works home (or contemporary, it works everywhere). Growick’s examples showed how easy and inexpensive it is to introduce new methods to new audiences.


•    Student-curated exhibitions: Pamela Franks and Seymour H. Knox, Jr. curating at Yale University Art Museum showed how student-curated exhibitions provide opportunities for students to engage with the Gallery’s collection and to see how the Gallery works behind the scenes. I was impressed how in-depth research worked and how the students accomplished in just one semester (up to two years) a way to engage with visual arts from different disciplines. Another example of student-curated exhibitions offered Amelia Kahl from Dartmouth College working with students at Hood Museum which is currently under construction. Four students decided to take the optional course to curate exhibitions online with web specialists to be present. The way to engage students with curating and to give them the chance to experience themselves was impressive. Since there is university right around the corner I would like to engage interns from university to work on exhibitions. One aim is to connect with the local universities to become part of their curriculum, at least for optional courses.



•    Wendy Red Star, artist and keynote speaker at the conference, shared her Native American roots with us in her speech and how she tries to invite her daughter to become part of it too. The artist went as far to include her daughter’s artistic work on her Native American roots to an exhibition at Denver Art Museum. She also invited her to guide her class and other minors through the exhibition. It was a great example to see children learning from another child.

I would like to include children and let them participate more independently in the museum and exhibition structure.