“Stop trying to avoid the realities of life”

Comment article by David Fleming (Professor of Public History at Liverpool Hope University and the former director of National Museums Liverpool):

“The notion of the ‘neutral’ museum is just about the most dishonest I have ever encountered […]

Over the years, I have become more impatient with the opponents of museum activism trying to find ways to avoid relevance by hunkering down in the cosy world of restricted access, a world where they feel comfortable, where politics (and real people, with real preoccupations) don’t exist, where controversy is restricted to debates over pottery techniques, a world inhabited by the privileged and by the tourist in search of the next blockbuster exhibition.

I am comforted by the thought that increasing numbers of museum staff have realised that trying to position museums like this is unsustainable, and ultimately irrelevant to most people, most of the time: it’s the 21st century, not the 19th, and museums ought to be stepping up, not stepping back because they think it’s safer to do so.”

“Stop trying to avoid the realities of life” (David Fleming, 1 Jul 2018)

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