Museums in Tune with the Times

Is contemporary relevance imperative?





Registration required!



Historically speaking, the museum’s role as a place of orientation and opinion-shaping is undisputed. Already in its early days, it helped its audience to make sense of their everyday experiences, assess developments of the immediate present, and contextualise new information. Today’s museum landscape also offers a number of connections to the present. This manifests the desire on the part of programme directors to address current topics by means of the institution, to position the museum as a site of discussion, and to empower its audience to reflect on common assumptions and arguments. At the same time, these ties to the present often reveal the pressure on the museum to justify itself as a public institution.


On a tour of selected Viennese museums and exhibition spaces, we shall pursue the following questions: what topics are considered controversial today and worthy of being dealt with by museums? What options do different types of museums have for establishing a relation to the present? Apart from exhibitions, what contribution can educational programmes and events make? What role does art play in raising current issues in fields ranging from science and technology to politics? How does one train the museum’s educational staff in terms of desired and undesired contemporary references? How far can attitudes go, and in what conflicts of interests do public institutions find themselves? What possibilities does our everyday practice present?





Organisers of the workshop

Linda Erker, historian, Department of Contemporary History, University of Vienna

Bettina Habsburg-Lothringen, management team of Museumsakademie Joanneum, Graz (A)



Vienna (A)



€190, reduced fee €140*

*The reduced fee is available to students, trainees, unemployed people, and employees of this year’s cooperation partners.


Registration and info
Museumsakademie Joanneum
T +43 (0) 664/8017-9537, Fax -9808


Please register via e-mail or fax. 

Museumsakademie Joanneum

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