The eventful year of museums 2011 is racing for its end. It’s that time of the year when one usually reflects on past events and looks to the future. Next year will be even more eventful. Helsinki will be the world’s design capital but there will be fascinating art exhibitions throughout the whole Finland – something for everyone!
But what about the art museum professionals? How should we prepare ourselves for the new year? By focusing on audience or participants according to Jim Richardson. He claims in his article The audience is dead – let’s talk participants instead. Today’s audience is not just a group of passive spectators but people that are actively involved in the digital world and want to participate in the museum world no matter whether it’s about a new exhibition or a marketing campaign. Yorkshire’s favourite paintings is an excellent example of this. The public was asked to join this marketing campaign by telling stories about their favourite painting. The prize was a replica of ones favourite painting. All in all 400 people participated in the competition. The stories lived on in social media and the campaign website was visited by thousands of people. Read more about the campaign.
This Lasuuri focuses also on audiences. Anu Niemelä’s article about the visitor survey of Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasmas ARS 11 –exhibition as well as Marjatta Levanto’s and Tanja Karpasto’s articles – all refer to the importance of different kind of audiences and museum spaces. Maybe the slogan for next year could simply be for the best of the audiences!
You can send your ideas and suggestions concerning Lasuuri to this email address: lasuuri(at)fng.fi
Wish you a wonderful christmastime and a happy new year!
Communication manager, Finnish National Gallery
A new year brings new ideas. The editorial board of Lasuuri reflected on theme/themes that would be interesting for museum professionals this year. We wanted to focus on one large issue and were unanimous that digisitation should chosen as theme for the whole year. It concerns us all and will serve the needs of citizens and science as well as culture and education not only in Finland but all over the Europe.
Europeana, the European Digital Library is a joint project of the European Commission and the European Union Member States. It constitutes a view of European cultural heritage. The Europeana portal is at http://www.europeana.eu and it’s key contents will be digitised materials of libraries, archives and museums. The National Digital Library project participates in the development of Europeana and will mediate metadata on Finnish materials to Europeana. But what does digitisation mean for sole museums? What are their expectations and what kind of difficulties do they face?
Lasuuri will during this year follow up different projects of digitisation and tell more about the musem professionals working with the projects.
The next inclusive reading package will be published before the summer and the last Lasuuri of this year will come out in November.
As always you can send your ideas and suggestions to lasuuri(at)fng.fi or comment on every article or blog which makes Lasuuri an excellent forum for discussion.
Communications Manager, Finnish National Gallery
We are now completing the first year of publication of the online magazine Lasuuri for art museum professionals. The online magazine has been received enthusiastically: many believe there was a clear need for a substance magazine such as this. The online magazine is also in a convenient format: in addition to being environmentally friendly, it offers readers the possibility to return to the articles as often as they want. Every article can be commented on, which also makes Lasuuri an excellent forum for discussion.
Much has happened this year: many publications have been brought to the market at the Finnish National Gallery, such as the Finnish National Gallery jubilee book Kulttuurin rakentaja (“the builder of culture”), and the book on the impacts of the collection operations of the Ateneum Art Museum, Kokoelmalla on tekijänsä! (“Every collection has its maker”) the Collections Mobility manual on the mobility of collections (www.lending-for-europe.eu), created as a result of an EU project.
There have also been changes in the Lasuuri editorial council. The Executive Editor in Charge, Head of Development Susanna Pettersson, has taken up the post of Director of the Alvar Aalto Foundation, and the Director of the Central Archives Ulla Vihanta is retiring after a long and successful career. Temporary Head of Development Eija Liukkonen now acts as the Executive Editor in Charge, and the temporary Director of the Central Archives Hanna-Leena Paloposki takes up the post previously held by Vihanta. Head of Conservation Kirsti Harva and Executive Editor of Lasuuri, Communications Manager Anna-Maria Wiljanen will both continue on the editorial council.
The task of Lasuuri in the contextualisation of the central phenomena in the art museum field remains essentially the same as before, but its development continues. It is here that we need your help. Send your ideas and suggestions to lasuuri(at)fng.fi!
The theme of this issue is the documentation of visual arts. A related project has mapped the current situation and cooperation of archives and libraries. The Central Art Archives have collected experiences and views from art museums by using various questionnaires and seminars and by contacting people. The versatile results of the project are presented in the articles in this magazine. We are waiting for your comments.
Communications Manager, Finnish National Gallery
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of an art museum? Grand buildings, breathtaking collections and varying special exhibitions? Or maybe new ideas inspired by a visit to an exhibition or an event? All of this, no doubt.
But the idea of an art museum also involves immense and extensive knowledge and proficiency behind each and every exhibition and display. Choices and final decisions depend on the people behind titles and job descriptions. Institutions alone do not create art collections, and exhibitions do not materialise on the walls by themselves, either.
The history of the museum profession is seldom if ever recorded. Everyday museum work is not usually documented, because the camera – as is its custom – only captures highlights and handshakes with guests of honour, or some completely new segment of the public, such as babies playing with colours. In an age of electronic communications we should also pay serious attention to compiling traditional archives so that museum work and the diversity of its projects are documented. Otherwise future generations of scholars will have to make do with nothing but wild guesses as to what happened between the annual reports.
Piecing together the history of the museum profession is important for understanding the field, and we all have a role to play in deepening that knowledge. From a broad perspective, we are talking about a museum history dating back to at least the 19th century that has now become the subject of a veritable boom in research in Finland as well. One of the most significant milestones on this road was the publication of Suomen museohistoria (The History of Finnish Museums) by the Finnish Literature Society. The Finnish National Gallery played a key role in planning and realising this publication in partnership with the Finnish Museums Association, the National Board of Antiquities and the Finnish Museum of Natural History, and with museology studies at the universities of Turku, Jyväskylä and Helsinki.
This is also one way of promoting museum-related research. By knowing the history of our field, we will achieve a better understanding of the present. This will encourage us to make choices with an impact on future museum visitors.
Head of Development, Development and Community Relations Kehys