One of the big ideas confirmed in Reimagining Historic House Museums is the significant role of a strong mission statement. They’ve been in active use in museums since the 1980s and yet, there are still plenty that are uninspiring, convoluted, or superficial slogans.
Because mission statements are so essential to the management of museums, I spend two classes of my museum management course at George Washington University discussing them using the AAM Standards along with articles by Willard Boyd, Stephen Weil, Peter Drucker, Philip Kennicott, and Sebastian Desmidt, and a chapter from Museums in Motion. Through several small group activities, the students develop a list of characteristics for strong mission statements and then test them against the mission statements for the eighteen museums they are using as case studies. Although these are graduate students with very little experience in museums, they do a terrific job identifying mission statements that can inform decisions and guide actions. For the museums they are studying this semester, these are ones with the strongest mission statements (in alphabetical order):
The American Alliance of Museums announced the winners of its 2013 Museum Publications Design Competition, which identifies the best in graphic design in fifteen different categories. This is a juried competition and we send our congratulations to all, but especially to (given the bias of this blog):
Drake Well Museum for their journal, Oilfield
Kentucky Historical Society for educational resources.
US Holocaust Memorial Museum for their 2011-12 annual report
Museum of Flight (Seattle) for their 2011 annual report
Museum of the City of New York for the journal, City Courant
National Archives for their Girl Scout Welcome Activity Badge Cards
Peabody Essex Museum for their members magazine, Connections
Peabody Essex Museum for invitations to the Cultural Conversation and Ansel Adams events
Peabody Essex Museum for educational resources
Shaker Museum (Mount Lebanon) for the 2012/13 annual journal
I love good design and I applaud all the winners. One thing about design contests, however, is that they’re only about design Continue reading →