This is one of the questions the speakers of Museology and Values, directors and curators of world-class museums, academics in the field of museology and architects who work with museums, will address, recounting us the problems they have encountered and the solutions they have found in this field.
Today, we are pleased to present you the contributions of Michail Borisovič Piotrovskij, Director of the State Hermitage Museum entitled "Museum: where we from, who we are, where we are going" and the one of Eike Schmidt, Director of Le Gallerie degli Uffizi entitled "The Museum considered as a Moral Institution: Suggestions from Schiller’s Theory of Theater".
The talk of Michail Borisovic Piotrovskij
<< A museum is a part of the mechanism ensuring continuous human existence. It keeps historical and esthetic memory of the nation and the entire world. This memory is not passed down genetically. It is to be assimilated through culture, and the museum plays the key role here as it gathers, studies and presents genuine things containing the energy of the time. It is Memory that distinguishes a man from an animal. There is no nation, no city, no country, no people, and no man without cultural memory. Like any keeper the museum is conservative, and this conservativism makes it capable of serious innovations and preparedness for them. The museum seems to check them for suitability for the future and gives them a pattern for future existence. Museums are open to innovations but transform them.>>
The talk of Eike Schmidt
<<On 26 June 1784, Friedrich Schiller delivered a lecture before the German Society there on the subject, “On the theatre’s effect on the people”. This text is not just of interest as a poetological self-reflexion, but even more so as a program for the establishment of permanent theatres as public institutions dedicated to cognitive, emotional and ethical improvement of mankind according to the ideals of the Enlightenment. [...] These were of course the same ideals, which lead to the foundation of the British Museum in 1753, and especially to the transformation of the vast princely collections of the Uffizi into a public museum devoted to research and education in 1769. Surprisingly, however, Schiller’s thorough consideration of the role of the theatre and indeed of the arts at large has neither played a role in the development of the theatre’s sister institution in the 18th and 19th centuries. Nor has it been considered within the many recent attempts to justify, promote, question or to realign the mission, meaning and methods of today’s museums either. Yet Schiller’s treatise turns out to be of the greatest relevance to concerns, which are incessantly raised in our own time about the institution.>>