Imagined Museum

Who could have predicted at the beginning of this Museum Studies class that — by the end of our journey this quarter – countless museums around the world would be shut down, along with most other societal institutions, due to a global public health crisis caused by the spread of the corona virus? The answer, of course, is nobody: the scope and scale of the crisis today is a reminder that the future is always an uncertain horizon. With this idea of an unknowable future in mind, your assignment is to imagine a fictional museum, a new model for the 21st century established on the other side of our current crisis.
Explain where this museum will be located, its primary purpose, the identity of this museum locally and internationally, its relationship (if any) to historical events, its curatorial narratives, its building and architecture, its collections and modes of display, its relationship to different constituencies, some possible controversies it has generated, why it needs to exist, and so on.
Justify your “imagined museum” in a discussion of concrete examples of the ways museums have responded to changes in our society, and the issues raised by writers on our syllabus. Draw as much as you can from the insights you have gained in this class to support your account. Actual institutions may inspire your own, but the assignment is ultimately a creative exercise, which could be utopian, cynical, idealistic, controversial, impossible, and so on. The museum can have absolutely nothing to do with the corona virus pandemic; but it should involve a meaningful vision for our world in a post-Covid 19 future.

Your response should be 3-4 pages (typed and double-spaced, 750-1000 words) with proper scholarly citations and referencing of sources wherever necessary. You can choose any citation format, as long as you stick with that one (ie: be consistent).

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