Making University Museums Matter

1 September 2019, 9.30 AM-12.30 PM

Kyoto National Museum


Duration: 9.30-12.30 PM

Short Description:

One of the giants in the field of museum practice and theory, the late Stephen Weil, in his Making Museums Matter, insists that it is not enough for our institutions to simply steward the collections entrusted to our care. Rather, we must positively impact the “knowledge or attitude or values—in the quality of individual or communal lives.” This is a very tall order, as it is no secret that museums of all shapes, sizes, and disciplines are generally expected to fulfill very broad mandates, almost always without concomitant levels of support. The resulting challenges are often aggravated in the case of college and university collections, which frequently are expected to serve a plurality of masters and which just as often have parent organizations that do not fully understand or appreciate their value and significance. In this four-hour workshop, five directors from leading American college and university art museums will explore approaches and strategies for “mattering” on our campuses and in our communities.

This workshop will feature five 15-minute presentations with ample time for Q&A as well as group work and/or interactive activities between each talk.


Trained as lawyer and an art historian, Jill Deupi’s (Lowe Museum, University of Miami) current research interests include arts administration and management as well as art law (particularly provenance and deaccessioning). As the Lowe’s Director and Chief Curator, she is responsible for more than 19,000 objects that span five millennia and represent every inhabited continent.


Sharon L. Corwin (USA) is the Carolyn Muzzy Director and Chief Curator of the Colby College Museum of Art. She has published several books and essays, including, Alex Katz: Maine/New York; American Modern: Documentary Photography by Abbott, Evans, and Bourke-White and “Picturing Efficiency: Precisionism, Scientific Management, and the Effacement of Labor”.
William Eiland (USA) has served on the boards of AAM, SEMC, and the Georgia Association of Museums and Galleries. He was also a trustee of AAMD and ICOM as well as chairman of the NEA’s Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Advisory Panel Arts. His specific research interests include early Italian and French art and the art of the American South.
John Wetenhall (USA) is founding director of the new George Washington University Museum and teaches in GW’s museum studies graduate program. A longtime museum director, he has served on the boards of AAM, ICOM-US and AAMG.  He is an art historian with an MBA, currently writing on the values, ethics, and ‘business’ of museums.

Target-audience: Museum professionals at all stages of their careers.

Costs: This workshop is free of charge.

Limited enrollment (max. 20 participants). Advance registration is required. Please email Jill Deupi  if you are interested in attending.

Other UMAC 2019 Pre-Conference Workshops