Directors and employees of museums, free curators, designers and cultural mediators, researchers, artists and students who want to develop and expand their museological competencies – they all would like to take an active stance towards the conditions of the museum: they are looking for answers to questions that have to be raised and answered time and again against the background of a dynamic political, economic and social context. They want to know more about the potentials of the institution of the museum and the medium of the exhibition. They would like to get to know colleagues and exchange information and experiences, and they would like to extend their networks in general or with a view to specific projects.
We try to take all of this into consideration in our events, research initiatives and publications, with our public museological library and the steadily developing website. We strive to prepare a wide range of specific topics on the museum and exhibitions tailored to the needs and daily realities of participants, to present trendsetting projects, to be an open and inviting place for the exchange of knowledge, and to inspire and encourage people with practical exercises and experiments. The goal of all of this is to contribute to the positive development of the museum and to continue to raise awareness of the museum as a socially important place with very specific duties and responsibilities.
This aim strongly suggests thinking beyond disciplinary limits as well as operating in an international network, the cooperation with partners from European museums, universities, research institutions, which makes possible the combination of theoretical reflective knowledge and practical knowledge gained from museum practice that is so important to us.
The Museumsakademie Joanneum responds to the new demands made upon museum professions with its series of events, especially since museums and exhibitions are now more than ever at the centre of public attention as cultural, social and architectural places and are subject to rapid economic and functional change.
Therefore, we not only attach great importance to the relation to museum practice in the conception of each individual event, but also to current museological theories. In this way, we counteract the pragmatism that our daily work demands and encourage reflective and innovative museum work.
The range of activities of the Museumsakademie Joanneum covers:
- Developing and running research and application-oriented museological education and training programmes
- Supporting discussions of museology theory
- Carrying out research projects relating to museology and cultural studies
- Consultancy provided by accomplished experts
- Conceiving and producing innovative projects in the fields of ‘Museum’, ‘Exhibition’ and ‘Art’.
Work Principles of the Museumsakademie
The museum as a key phenomenon of Modernity has become a research object of many sciences in recent decades. Many “museologies” have emerged in which extraordinarily differentiated expertise and reflective knowledge on the museum circulates and whose common feature is curiosity for the complexity of museums.
This knowledge, which cannot remain within the limits of academic disciplines, has to be organised in a stimulating way for its practical use. This is made easier for us by having “home field advantage” at a museum that offers us and those interested in us a large reservoir of examples and ideas on account of the diversity of exhibitions, collections and fields of work as well as the support of the staff of the Universalmuseum Joanneum. This close relationship to the museum makes us unique compared with other providers of continuing education.
The aim of interweaving this kind of expertise and know-how with museological reflective knowledge is to make the overlooked, repressed and underestimated conditions and foundations of our daily work visible and thus to open up new perspectives and to inspire change.
This intention is supported by cooperating with experts and institutions in many different countries. But it also draws on the internationality of the participants, whom we literally meet halfway by events outside Austria, for its quality.
A diverse mix of interests and competences comes about on its own in the groups of our events as a very welcome side effect. This mix together with the project orientation working principle maintains the close relationship to the questions and demands of museum professions.