Dear colleagues,


In 2019, the Museumsakademie celebrates its 15th anniversary. Looking back on the many stimulating debates and gatherings over the years is also an occasion to reflect on our primary objectives. In essence, it is about continuing to enable the exchange of ideas and promoting processes for opening up and further developing museums – an aim we pursue as an institution which, as in the past, takes place in new, exciting locations, enters into rewarding cooperative relationships, engages in a dialogue with science and research, and thus brings people together to discuss issues regarding the museum.


These processes of “opening up” are not only a concern of the Museumsakademie, they are also a status report on the situation of museums today. Particularly in times of a progressively digital nature of society, the process of museums opening themselves up to their audiences seems to be accelerating. Museums increasingly find themselves faced with visitors who are also used to being users, being involved, and view the museum – whether online or in physical space – as a place of social participation. We want to address this topic and examine how much potential the interaction on digital interfaces holds for involvement, dialogue, and community building. At the same time, we would like to explore the physical contact zones in the museum and discuss different ways of approaching the essential, but often marginalised or less enthusiastically perceived profession of visitor services. We will also investigate the relevance of the museum today as a place of discussion on current and potentially explosive social issues and how political the museum’s role in society already is or may or must be.


The museum’s openness towards cultural studies and humanities seems to be particularly interesting, where we reflect on how museums treat their objects, examine some new approaches to the photo album, and discuss ways of exhibiting literature. And finally, the theme of openness is a primary concern when it comes to looking beyond national borders, for instance, when we view permanent exhibitions in an international context, or invite you to accompany us on an excursion to a place of transnational remembrance.


We would be delighted if you join us once again this year and use the Museumsakademie as an open platform in multiple locations for the lively exchange of experiences and ideas.



On behalf of the Museumsakademie


Karoline Boehm, Bettina Habsburg-Lothringen and Eva Tropper

Museumsakademie Joanneum

Sackstraße 16
8010 Graz, Österreich
T +43-664/8017-9537