A few weeks ago, I read the headline that the UN agency warned the pandemic could force closure of 1 in 8 museums worldwide. The article went on to say that studies conducted by UNESCO and the International Council of Museums (ICOM) indicate that 85,000 museums (which include art galleries) around the world had to temporarily shut their doors. More alarming, nearly 13% of museums across may never reopen.
Museums are the holders of our stories, our cultures, our efforts and dreams. On May 17, 1999, in a public lecture at the National Museum, Georgetown, Guyana, Emmanuel N. Arinze, then President, Commonwealth Association of Museums spoke on the Role of the Museum in Society:
“Today, museums must become agents of change and development: they must mirror events in society and become instruments of progress by calling attention to actions and events that will encourage development in the society. They must become institutions that can foster peace, they must be seen as promoting the ideals of democracy and transparency in governance in their communities, and they must become part of the bigger communities that they serve and reach out to every group in the society.” Emmanuel N. Arinze
During this period of solitude, museums, art galleries and libraries have worked tirelessly to remain connected and vibrant. Their creative use of technology to bring messages via e-mail and all social media venues has been heartening and life-affirming.
Going forward, ChasingART will be giving a shoutout to Museums. First stop, National Galleries Scotland, and their video: What makes an artwork iconic?
“You asked and we answered. We looked through feedback we received from visitors and have made a series of films answering some of the most frequently asked questions. The first, using Roy Lichtenstein’s In the Car as an example, tries to answer the really quite complicated question: ‘What makes a painting iconic?’ Look out for more short films to follow in the coming weeks.”
National Galleries of Scotland