Curators With and Without Collections : A Comparative Study of Changes in the Curator’s Work at National Museums in Finland and in the Baltic States

Open access

Abstract

Traditionally, the curator’s work has been in close connection with the main functions of the museum - preservation, research, and communication. The changes that have occurred at museums over the past few decades have also influenced the profession of curator. Specialisation has taken place inside the museum, and so the curator’s functions have also changed. This article focuses on the curator’s field of work at national museums in Finland and in the Baltic states. The analysis is mainly based on interviews conducted with curators and other museum professionals at the Estonian National Museum, the Estonian History Museum, the National History Museum of Latvia, the National Museum of Lithuania, and the National Museum of Finland. Emanating from the PRC model provided by the Reinwardt Academy as well as the global changes induced by the new museology, the focus is on the curator’s connection with museum collections. The analysis shows that the curator’s role is not similar in all the museums under discussion; there are regional differences in structure, curatorial duties, and priorities. While at some museums the curator is regarded as a collection keeper who can also do some research, at others they are rather researchers and have only infrequent contact with collections.

Aljas, Agnes. 2015. Motivations for participating in museums’ interventions. - Media Transformations 11, edited by Auksė Balcytiene, Peter Gross and Aušra Vinciuniene. Kaunas: Vytautas Magnus University, 84−105.

Aljas, Agnes. 2017. Participation in the museum: diverse audiences and their motivations at the Estonian National Museum. - Museums and Innovation, edited by Zvjezdana Antos, Annette B. Fromm and Viv Golding. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 147−162.

Boylan, Patrick J., ed. 2004. Managing People. - Running a Museum: A Practical Handbook. Paris: ICOM - International Council of Museums, 147-160. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0014/001410/141067e.pdf (accessed May 15, 2018).

Conn, Steven. 2010. Do Museums Still Need Objects? Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.9783/9780812201659.

Cross, Sally and Helen Wilkinson, eds. 2007. Making Collections Effective. Effective Collections: An Introduction. Collections for the Future: Two Years on. London: Museums Association. https://www.museumsassociation.org/download?id=14112 (accessed April 5, 2018).

EHM homepage = Estonian History Museum homepage. People: Research Department. https://www.ajaloomuuseum.ee/about-museum/people/department-of-science-and-collections (accessed August 19, 2018).

Ekosaari, Maija; Sari Jantunen and Leena Paaskoski. 2014. Museo 2015: A Checklist for Museum Collections Management Policy. The National Board of Antiquities’ Guidelines and Instructions 9. Helsinki: Museum 2015 Project and National Board of Antiquities. https://www.museovirasto.fi/uploads/Arkisto-ja-kokoelmapalvelut/Julkaisut/museum-collections-management-policy.pdf (accessed November 5, 2018).

Ewin, Timothy A. M. and Joanne V. Ewin. 2016. In defence of the curator: maximising museum impact. - Museum Management and Curatorship 31 (4): 322-330. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09647775.2015.1060865.

Finna a = Finna homepage. https://museot.finna.fi/ (accessed August 21, 2018).

Finna b = Finna homepage. Palvelun Kuvaus. https://www.kiwi.fi/display/Finna/Palvelun+kuvaus (accessed August 21, 2018).

Glaister, Jane and Helen Wilkinson. 2005. Collections for the Future. Report of a Museums Association. London: Museums Association. https://www.museumsassociation.org/download?id=11121 (accessed March 30, 2018).

Greene, Candace S. 2015. Museum Anthropology. - Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences: An Interdisciplinary, Searchable, and Linkable Resource, edited by Robert Scott and Stephen Kosslyn. New York, NY: J. Wiley, 1-15.

Hakamies, Inkeri. 2017. Practice Makes ‘Museum People’. - Museum and Society 15 (2): 142-152. https://journals.le.ac.uk/ojs1/index.php/mas/article/view/829 (accessed May 2, 2018).

Hakomäki, Risto. 2008. Valtakunnallinen tallennusvastuu: tallennuksen aihepiirit ja koordinointi. Presentation at Ajankohtaisseminaari museoiden kokoelmahallinnasta, Helsinki 15.04.2008. http://www.museoliitto.fi/doc/Kansallismuseo_tallennus.pdf (accessed November 6, 2018).

JCNHM database = Joint Catalogue of the National Holdings of Museums of Latvia / Nacionālā Muzeju Krājuma Kopkatalogs. http://nmkk.lv/ (accessed November 27, 2018).

Jeeser, Kaie. 2009. Museaalide dokumenteerimine Eesti muuseumides. Master’s thesis. Tartu: University of Tartu, Faculty of Philosophy Institute of Archaeology, Department of Archival Studies. http://dspace.ut.ee/handle/10062/14694?locale-attribute=en (accessed July 24, 2018).

Järvinen, Outi, ed. 2010. Suomen Kansallismuseon kokoelmapoliittinen ohjelma. Helsinki: Suomen kansallismuseo. https://www.museovirasto.fi/uploads/Arkisto-ja-kokoelmapalvelut/Julkaisut/kokoelmapol-ohjelma-2010.pdf (accessed November 6, 2018).

Keene, Suzanne. 2005. Fragments of the World: Uses of Museum Collections. Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth- Heinemann.

Keene, Suzanne. 2008. Collections for People: Museums’ Stored Collections as a Public Resource. London: University College London Institute of Archaeology.

Ķencis, Toms and Kristin Kuutma. 2011. National Museums in Latvia. - Building National Museums in Europe 1750-2010. Conference Proceedings from EuNaMus, European National Museums: Identity Politics, the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen, Bologna 28-30 April 2011. EuNaMus Report 1, edited by Peter Aronsson and Gabriella Elgenius. Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 497-519. http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp_home/index.en.aspx?issue=064 (accessed November 6, 2018).

Keršytė, Nastazija. 2016. Lietuvos muzeologija: Lietuvos muzeologijos raida XVIII amžiaus antroje pusėje-XXI amžiuje. Acta museologica Lithuanica 3. Vilnius: Akademinė leidyba.

Key Concepts 2010 = Key Concepts of Museology, edited by André Desvallées and François Mairesse. Paris: Armand Collin.

Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara. 2005. From Ethnology to Heritage: The Role of the Museum. [SIEF Keynote, Marseilles, April 28, 2004.] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/238714489_From_Ethnology_to_Heritage_The_Role_of_the_Museum (accessed May 20, 2018).

Konsa, Kurmo. 2007. Artefaktide säilitamine. Tartu: Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus.

Kuutma, Kristin and Paavo Kroon. 2012. Museum Policy in Transition from Post-Soviet Conditions to Reconfigurations in the European Union. - Museum Policies in Europe 1990-2010: Negotiating Professional and Political Utopia. EuNaMus Report 3. Linköping University Interdisciplinary Studies 15, edited by Lill Eilertsen and Arne Bugge Amundsen. Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 69-90. http://liu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:557284/FULLTEXT01.pdf (accessed November 7, 2018).

Kysy museolta = https://kysymuseolta.fi/ (accessed May 8, 2018). http://lnvm.lv/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/LNVM_shema_2017.pdf (accessed August 22, 2018).

Ladkin, Nicola. 2004. Collections Management. - Running a Museum: A Practical Handbook, edited by Patric J. Boylan. Paris: International Council of Museums, 17-30.

Leete, Art; Ülo Tedre, Ülo Valk and Ants Viires. 2008. Uurimislugu. - Eesti rahvakultuur, compiled and edited by Ants Viires and Elle Vunder. Tallinn: Eesti Entsüklopeediakirjastus, 15-39.

LIMIS homepage = Lithuanian Integral Museum Information System / Lietuvos integrali muziejų informacinė sistema. https://www.limis.lt (accessed August 19, 2018).

Lotina, Linda. 2016. Conceptualizing Engagement Modes: Understanding Museum-Audience Relationships in Latvian Museums. Dissertationes de mediis et communicationibus Universitatis Tartuensis 26. Tartu: University of Tartu Press.

McCall, Vikki and Clive Gray. 2014. Museums and the ‘new museology’: theory, practice and organisational change. - Museum Management and Curatorship 29 (1): 19-35. DOI: 10.1080/09647775.2013.869852.

Maroević, Ivo. 1998. Introduction to Museology: The European Approach, edited by Gary Edson. München: Verlag Dr. C. Müller-Straten.

Meijer-van Mensch, Leontine. 2017. Peter the Museum Mensch: A Personal Museological Reflection. - Museologica Brunensia 6 (1): 62-64. https://digilib.phil.muni.cz/handle/11222.digilib/137200 (accessed August 14, 2018).

van Mensch, Peter. 2003. Museology and Management: Enemies or Friends? Current Tendencies in Theoretical Museology and Museum Management in Europe. http://www.icom-portugal.org/multimedia/File/V%20Jornadas/rwa_publ_pvm_2004_1.pdf (accessed May 20, 2018).

Museovirasto a = Museovirasto homepage. Henkilöt/Personnel Directory. http://henkilot.nba.fi (accessed May 8, 2018).

Museovirasto b = Museovirasto homepage. Museotietojärjestelmä Musketti. https://www.museovirasto.fi/fi/palvelut-ja-ohjeet/tietojarjestelmat/museotietojarjestelma-musketti (accessed August 21, 2018).

Museovirasto c = Museovirasto homepage. Kansallismuseon julkaisuja. https://www.museovirasto.fi/fi/palvelut-ja-ohjeet/julkaisut/kansallismuseon-julkaisuja (accessed August 21, 2018).

NHML homepage = National History Museum of Latvia homepage / Latvijas Nacionālā vēstures muzeja. Shema. http://lnvm.lv/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/LNVM_shema_2017.pdf (accessed August 22, 2018).

NML homepage = National Museum of Lithuania homepage / Lietuvos Nacionalinis Muziejus. Struktūra. http://www.lnm.lt/struktura/ (accessed August 19, 2018).

Pettersson, Susanna. 2011. National Museums in Finland. - Building National Museums in Europe 1750-2010. Conference Proceedings from EuNaMus, European National Museums: Identity Politics, the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen, Bologna 28-30 April 2011. EuNaMus Report 1, edited by Peter Aronsson and Gabriella Elgenius. Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 261-288. http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp_home/index.en.aspx?issue=064 (accessed November 6, 2018).

Reidla, Jana. 2017. Muuseumiharidusest Eesti Rahva Muuseumi rahvakultuuri koolitus- ja teabekeskuse näitel. Master’s thesis. Tartu: University of Tartu, Department Ethnology. http://dspace.ut.ee/handle/10062/57662 (accessed August 20, 2018).

Rindzevičiūtė, Eglė. 2011. National Museums in Lithuania: A Story of State Building (1855-2010). - Building National Museums in Europe 1750-2010. Conference Proceedings from EuNaMus, European National Museums: Identity Politics, the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen, Bologna 28-30 April 2011. EuNaMus Report 1, edited by Peter Aronsson and Gabriella Elgenius. Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 521-552. http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp_home/index.en.aspx?issue=064 (accessed November 6, 2018).

Ross, Max. 2004. Interpreting New Museology. - Museum and Society 2 (2): 84-103.

Runnel, Pille and Pille Pruulmann-Vengerfeldt, eds. 2014. Democratising the Museum: Reflections on Participatory Technologies. Berlin: Peter Lang Verlag. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3726/978-3-653-03972-6.

Simon, Nina. 2010. The Participatory Museum. Santa-Cruz: Museum 2.0.

Stoškutė, Neringa. 2017. Tension Between Everyday Practice and the New Museology Theory: A Case of the National Gallery of Art in Vilnius. - Art History and Criticism 13: 76-87. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mik-2017-0006.

Viau-Courville, Mathieu. 2017. Museums Without (Scholar-)Curators: Exhibition-Making in Times of Managerial Curatorship. - Museum International 68: 11-32. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/muse.12126.

Vilkuna, Janne. 2018. The development of Finnish museums over the last forty years. - Nordisk Museologi 1: 96-103. DOI: doi:

Verslo Žinios 2018 = Lietuvos nacionalinis muziejus darbuotojai (apdraustieji). 2018. - Verslo Žinios. https://rekvizitai.vz.lt/imone/lietuvos_nacionalinis_muziejus/darbuotoju-skaicius/ (accessed August 18, 2018).

Journal Information

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 30 30 13
PDF Downloads 18 18 8