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What is a museum’s purpose? Lecture given by Nathalie Bondil October 26 – Le Monde Festival

Friday, October 26
Noon – 1 p.m.
What is a museum’s purpose?
With Nathalie Bondil et Jean-François Chougnet
Hosted by Michel Guerrin

The world’s major museums are coming to a point where they must make a strategic choice between their traditional missions and opening themselves up to societal issues. Traditional missions consist of: enriching their collections, continuously improving gallery presentations, explaining works of art, discovering artists, designing quality exhibitions and catalogues, attracting a larger, younger and more diverse audience, and balancing budgets as they augment their own resources.

But another mission is taking shape that would come on top of their primary objectives: taking on a role as a player in the social and political debate. This mission is currently a hot topic of discussion, particularly among North American museums: should we be more open to our surrounding neighbourhood and city; a space for life, where the public is actively involved and not just as a spectator? Should we serve as an open form for exchanging ideas on social issues by inviting the so-called repressed communities and public to express themselves?

Are these two missions fair? Can we reconcile them and, if so, how? Will their ramifications extend all the way to the presentation of collections and exhibitions? What economic model does this inspire? Ultimately, will the museum of tomorrow still be a museum?

1 lecture $14,75  / VIP Members $13,75$
Daily pass $50 / VIP Members $46,25



Nathalie Bondil, Director general and Chief curator – MMFA
Photo Jean-François Brière