Today, we talk about the contributions of Susanna Avery-Quash , Senior Research Curator at the National Gallery, London, entitled “Reanimating Sacred Art for a Secular Age: Art and Religion at the National Gallery London ”, and ofAllen Quine, Vice President of International Relations at the Museum of the Bible of Washington, entitled “Visitor Engagement: Designing Dignity”.
Reanimating Sacred Art for a Secular Age: Art and Religion at the National Gallery London
<<Drawing on past experience and current thinking at the National Gallery, I wish to consider three interconnected areas – audiences, engagement and messages:
I. What does the National Gallery understand its societal role in the broadest sense to be? Which audiences is it trying to engage and communicate with?
II. How is the Gallery engaging with its audiences? What are the key strategies it has established to make its collection accessible, physically and intellectually?
III. What does the Gallery want to communicate to its visitors? [...]
By way of conclusion, I would like to reiterate core principles [...] that might usefully feed into a mission statement concerning human dignity in art institutions today.>>
Visitor Engagement: Designing Dignity
<<Our mission statement summary is to “invite all people to engage the bible”, and our core values include the words, “hospitable, innovative, inclusive and respectful.” This remains a deliberate purpose in contrast to the overall world culture that is increasingly polarized, narrowed, and uneducated.
How to present what we believe to be valuable beyond the elite visitor, yet not be insulting, demeaning, posturing, academic, or irrelevant? This is the challenge not only of ours, but of for all museums. >>