This week’s articles examined the business aspects of the museum world. While I understand the need to develop business models to adapt to changing times and interests, it seems too far to suggest that museums have to become more corporate in order to survive. As others have mentioned in their replies, if business and profit become the only concerns, the heart of the museum disappears. What then determines what is preserved for future generations? History as it actually happened or a sensationalized, over the top version designed to draw more visitors/customers and money into the museum? The move towards a more corporate model focusing on profits and losses presents a new set of problems that must be navigated.
The issue that must be first examined is how to better engage the visitor with the museum experience. Once that has been accomplished, the museum can then move on to devise new ways of presenting information and artifacts. The internet offers so many different ways to captivate an audience and draw them into the magic of museums. Spock’s article offered an interesting approach towards embracing the nostalgia that many hope to find when they visit museums. We live in such a disposable society that most people are searching for a connection to either their own personal history or our collective heritage. That is a factor that cannot be easily quantified in a business model.