Re-imaging Collections with Collaborative Curation

My interests in collaborative curation sprung from an article about the artist Fred Wilson and his project with the Maryland Historical Society. Wilson took museum artifacts, reinterpreted, re-imagined, and gave new life to them and to the institution. The controversial exhibition intrigued me because of its use of the permanent collection. My initial interest has evolved. I’m now focusing on bringing people in from the community, not just artists or experts, into the museum and allowing them an opportunity similar to Wilson’s. Though, my research isn’t focused solely on exhibitions that have used the permanent collection. I would like to find more examples of ones that have used the collection in a collaborative curation framework and compare and contrast them with those that haven’t.

This week I’ve been reading “The Poetic Museum: Reviving Historic Collections” by Julian Spalding. I’ve really been enjoying combing through this book and focusing more on the collections side of my research. Spalding expounds, “The challenge museums now face is to see themselves no longer as sole purveyors of the truth, but as seekers after truth on a journey they share with their visitors” (pg. 25). This quote really captured what I find so exciting about collaborative curation and I look forward to finishing this book!



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