Eight Ways Museums Could Make the Most of the Coronavirus Crisis

[I]f museums emerge from this crisis with their old structures and behaviours intact—if they fail to seize this sudden fluidity to make changes—this would be a graver error than any breach of etiquette. Here, then, for consideration are eight such opportunities that a number of senior figures in American art museums recently identified in a series of interviews, in approximately ascending order of ambition. [The Art Newspaper]

Volume 3 of Theory and Practice: The Emerging Museum Professionals Journal Now Available

The newest volume of Theory and Practice: The Emerging Museum Professionals Journal has been published.

Articles include:

Webinar Recording – Small but Mighty: Navigating the New Normal as a Small or Mid-Sized Museum

Now, more than three months after lockdown began, museums are gradually beginning to reopen their doors to visitors. While cultural organizations face many common hurdles, small and mid-sized institutions, with fewer staff and resources, may be facing unique challenges around this “new normal”. Many may be concerned they lack the budgets and bandwidth needed to implement necessary changes, like contactless experience design and new digital initiatives. [Cuseum]

RAAMP Coffee Gathering: Participatory Conversation on Reimagining Engagement in Academic Art Museums

On ThursdayJuly 23, 2020 at 2:00 PM EST CAA’s Cali Buckley will open a participatory discussion with Berit Ness, Assistant Curator of Academic Initiatives, Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, and Celka Straughn, Deputy Director for Public Practice, Curatorial and Research, and Andrew W. Mellon Director of Academic Programs, Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas. 

The COVID-19 pandemic and greater awakening of museums to the pandemic of structural racism have further pushed museums to rethink how they engage with their communities. For museums embedded within colleges and universities, this has brought a reexamination of the fundamental ways they act as sites for teaching and learning on campus. As educational institutions are pivoting to new curricular models for socially-distanced and remote learning, campus museums also have to envision new ways to support teaching with art. How can academic museums learn from these experiences to strengthen their missions for inclusion and accessibility, meet emerging academic and community needs, and catalyze structural change? 

This participatory conversation is designed to bring colleagues together in discussion. The bulk of the session will take place in smaller break-out rooms for participants to individually share and learn from each other. Below are some prompts for generating conversations.  


  1. What is the landscape of teaching at your institution this the fall? 
  2. How is your museum reimagining engagement with your academic and public audiences? 
  3. Are there any pedagogical methods, programs, or projects that felt successful last spring?  
  4. What are some strategies you are planning/developing?  
  5. What are your persistent challenges and what further resources are needed? 
  6. How might this moment inform your future practice?

If you have examples of class sessions, assignments, or other resources that you are willing to share with colleagues, RAAMP can host them. We will also have a shared document for models and ideas as well as questions during the breakout sessions.   


Berit Ness is the Assistant Curator for Academic Initiatives at the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art, where she oversees the museum’s active study room, manages curricular exhibitions, and serves as a specialist for the museum’s permanent collection. She regularly engages with UChicago faculty and students to foster interdisciplinary approaches for using the museum’s collections and exhibitions as a resource for teaching and learning. Berit has co-organized curricular-driven exhibitions such as Down Time: On the Art of Retreat and The History of Perception. 

 Since joining the Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas in 2009 Celka Straughn has worked to integrate the museum into the life of the university, and university teaching, learning, research and other activities into the life of the museum. This includes collaborative exhibition projects with faculty and students, such as American Dream, a student-generated exhibition with Dr. Ellen Raimond in conjunction with the 2016 KU Common Book (2017). Her teaching and scholarly work on museums explores collecting practices, museums and markets, colonial and global museum discourses, cross-disciplinary museum learning and engagement, and museum ethics. She regularly teaches courses for KU’s Honors Program, and is affiliate faculty in Museum Studies and German Studies. From 2012-2019 she served on the CAA Museum Committee and contributed to the formation of RAAMP. 

To RSVP to this Coffee Gathering, please fill out this form: 



Image credit: Yeesookyung Korean, b. 1973 Translated Vases, 2007, Smart Museum of Art. The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago; Purchase, Gift of Gay Young-Cho and Christopher Chiu in honor of Richard A. Born. Image credit line: ©2013 Yee Sookyoung


Webinar Recording – Re-Opening Museums & Cultural Attractions: Succeeding in the Post-COVID Era with Digital Tools

As museums and cultural attractions begin to re-open, or move into the next phases of their reopening plans, many are facing new challenges, managing shifting customer expectations, rethinking the visitor journey, and adapting to a future of contactless experiences. In light of these new circumstances, organizations are seeking out new solutions that can facilitate safe and engaging experiences for visitors and members. What steps can be taken to ensure your guests feel safe and satisfied as they’re welcomed back to your museum, post-COVID? What tools and solutions are available to help address new challenges? These questions are top of mind for many. [Cuseum]

Curatorial Research Associate – University of California Irvine (UCI)

Updated: Jun 16, 2020
Location: UC Irvine Campus
Job Type:
Department: MUSEUMS

Job Opening ID: 8521

Reports To: Assistant Director, Registration and Co

Working Title: Curatorial Research Associate

Bargaining Unit: RX


Payroll Job Code: 009722

Job Location: UCI Campus-Irvine

Percent of Time: 100%

Work Schedule: 8-5, M-F

Appointment: Career

Position Summary:

The Curatorial and Research Associate is primarily responsible for conducting art-related research and preparing written content to support IMCA’s exhibitions and public programs, especially with respect to the museum’s permanent collection. The Curatorial Associate works closely with curatorial, education, registrarial, exhibition, and marketing staff to contextualize this research for use in the museum’s exhibition galleries, on its website and in fundraising and marketing materials. In so doing, the Associate helps to re-position IMCA’s collection for a broader audience and integrate the collection with both the teaching mission of the museum and with contemporary efforts to refine and expand the definition of California art. In addition and on occasion, the Associate collaborates with the curatorial team and IMCA leadership to curate exhibitions that highlight the academic interpretation of artworks in the IMCA collection and those on loan to the museum. The Curatorial and Research Associate reports to the Associate Director and serves as the principle point of contact for research related to IMCA’s collection, facilitating access for teaching, research and public interest.

Compensation Range:


Department Website:



Bachelor’s degree in art history, fine arts, museum studies or a related field. Advanced degree strongly preferred.

Broad knowledge of art history, including American art, Modern art, and Contemporary art, and associated terminology.

At least two years of experience in a research or curatorial support role.

Exceptional research skills. Strong command of research protocols and procedures, with a track record of ensuring that research is undertaken according to best practice.

Strong analytical skills, with the ability and methodology to maintain relevant findings.

Exceptional writing, communication and presentation skills, with the ability to effectively address a range of audiences that include scholars, art critics, artists, museum and university professionals, donors and the general public.

Knowledge of museum standards for collections security and management.

Experience and facility with collections management software (ideally, EmbARK), as well as Microsoft Office Suite and social media tools.

Familiarity with contemporary conservation techniques and practices.

Ability to exercise sound judgement in making critical decisions.


Final candidate subject to background check. As a federal contractor, UC Irvine is required to use E-Verify to confirm the work status of individuals assigned to perform substantial work under certain federal contracts/subcontracts.

The University of California, Irvine is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy .

Below are general guidelines on the position’s physical, mental, and environmental working conditions. In accordance with applicable state and federal law, UCI provides reasonable accommodations for applicants with disabilities upon request. For more information, please contact Human Resources at (949) 824-0500.

To apply, visit https://careersucirvine.ttcportals.com/jobs/5310500-curatorial-research-associate

Culturally Responsive Museums Are Leading the Way

These museums, often referred to as culturally-specific, are the vanguards of community-centered rather than collection-centered approaches. Many provide the framework and thought-leadership needed to shift narratives, interpretations, and socializations of museums on all levels. There are currently over one hundred of these kinds of cultural institutions in the US, but they are often overlooked and underfunded. They continue to be left out of critical dialogue even amidst the rise of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. [Museum Hue]