New Museum Definition Approved

This week, during the 26th ICOM general conference in Prague, a new museum definition was approved with 92.41% of the votes.

UMAC voted in favour of the new definition. Next, the text will be translated into several languages and, in some countries, into legislation and accreditation systems.

I profit to express our gratitude to all UMAC members who contributed to the several stages of the new definition consultation. The process was remarkably balanced, inclusive and well led by Bruno Brulon (Brazil) and Lauran Bonilla-Merchav (Costa Rica).

Marta Lourenco, UMAC Chair

22nd UMAC Annual General Meeting, 19 September 2022

Dear UMAC Members,

For the first time in three years, the UMAC community will finally meet in presence, next week, in the beautiful city of Prague, Czechia. We are very excited. We will have a joint meeting with three ICOM committees – NATHIST, ICME and ICR – and also a separate meeting at Charles University in Prague. More packed than ever, the whole program can be found here.

While UMAC is looking forward to Prague, organizational and logistics limitations led ICOM to recommend committees to host their 2022 general meetings online yet for another year. I am therefore inviting you to participate in our 22ndAnnual General Meeting, which is scheduled for MONDAY, 19 SEPTEMBER, at 12.00 PM London/Lisbon/Dublin time. Like in 2020 and 2021, all UMAC members in good standing can attend via Zoom. Note that the 22nd AGM will also be broadcasted live on You Tube, but only registered members on Zoom will be able to actively participate and vote.

Every three years, usually aligned with the ICOM General Conference, UMAC holds elections for the Board. This will again happen this year, and we have an excellent group of candidates – if you have not seen them, please click here. I profit the opportunity to express our gratitude to the Elections Committee, Kirsten Vincenz (TU Dresden) and Sofia Talas (University of Padua).

You can find the AGM agenda and associated documents in our governance section. I also attach them. Instructions to vote for the new UMAC Board will be released closer to the date. If you have questions about your membership, or anything else, please contact Wenjia Qiu, UMAC Secretary, at

On behalf of the UMAC Board, I look forward to seeing you in Prague and, especially, at our 22nd online AGM, 19 September.

Marta C. Lourenço

Chair of UMAC-ICOM

University of Lisbon, Portugal

IMAGINATIONS Series: Three new videos

Three new videos from the IMAGINATIONS series, a project from UMAC Futures, have been released.

This time, Zhao Ke, co-chair of UMAC Futures, talks to Manuela García Lirio (Spain), Michelle de la Harpe (South Africa) and Kelsey McMorrow (Australia) about the interests, aims and aspirations of university museums young professionals.

The videos can be watched in UMAC YouTube channel.

Graciela Weisinger

Graciela Weisinger with Lyndel King and Steph Scholten.

Graciela Weisinger, Argentina

It is with great sadness that we were informed of Graciela Weisinger’s death, yesterday. Graciela was in the UMAC Board between 2014 and 2019, first as Secretary and then as Vice-president. She was currently President of ICOM Argentina. We are all in shock at her sudden death.

I am grateful to Karin Weil for preparing the text below, in Spanish and English.

Marta Lourenco, UMAC President

“ El lema de este año es Museos por la igualdad, diversidad e inclusión, pero propongo que vayamos un poquito más allá de ellos. Porque no todos somos iguales y porque cada persona es única, propongo que desde los museos trabajemos en la aceptación. La aceptación de la diversidad cultural, para así tan solo no incluirla, sino más bien integrarla.”

(Graciela Weisinger, 18 de mayo 2020)

Graciela Weisinger Cordero, con justa razón merecedora del Premio “ Asociación Amigos del Museo Mitre” por mejor desempeño en la carrera de Museología. Doctorando en Historia. Lic. en Museología de la Universidad del Museo Social Argentino (UMSA) y Técnico Superior en Museología Histórica de la ENAM. Titular de cátedras en las carreras de Museología y Gestión del Patrimonio Cultural, en Peritaje y Valuación de Obras de Arte y en Conservación y Restauración de Bienes Culturales en UMSA. Es Investigadora del Instituto de Investigaciones y Estadísticas Científicas y Sociales de la UMSA y curadora de la Colección de UMSA. Se desempeñó como profesional en diversas instituciones diseñando muestras permanentes y temporarias. Publicó libros, documentos y artículos propios y en colaboración con profesionales de diversas disciplinas. Organizó seminarios, jornadas y encuentros nacionales e internacionales. Actualmente era la presidenta de ICOM Argentina, donde también fue Vocal y Tesorera, ejerció la Secretaría y luego la Vicepresidencia del Comité Internacional de UMAC (Comité de Museos y Colecciones Universitarios de ICOM) en el período 2014-2019. Siempre comprometida y aportando activamente al desarrollo de la museología, gran admiradora de Hugues de Varine por su trabajo comunitario, al que ella también se dedicó. 

“This year’s slogan is Museums for equality, diversity and inclusion, but I propose that we go a little further than that. Because we are not all the same and because each person is unique, I propose that museums work on acceptance. Acceptance of cultural diversity, so that we don’t just include it, but rather integrate it”.

(Graciela Weisinger, 18 May 2020)

Graciela Weisinger Cordero, rightly deserving of the “Association Amigos del Museo Mitre” Award for best performance in the Museology degree. Doctorate in History. Degree in Museology from the Universidad del Museo Social Argentino (UMSA) and Advanced Technician in Historical Museology from the ENAM. Professor in Museology and Cultural Heritage Management, in Appraisal and Valuation of Works of Art and in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage at UMSA. She is a researcher at the Institute of Scientific and Social Research and Statistics at UMSA and curator of the UMSA Collection. She has worked as a professional in various institutions designing permanent and temporary exhibitions. She published books, documents, and articles of her own and in collaboration with professionals from various disciplines. She organized seminars, conferences and national and international meetings. She was currently the President of ICOM Argentina, where she was also a member and Treasurer, and was the Secretary and then Vice-President of the International Committee of UMAC (University Museums and Collections Committee of ICOM) in the period 2014-2019. Always committed and actively contributing to the development of museology, she is a great admirer of Hugues de Varine for his community work, to which she also dedicated herself. 

Karin Weil, 30 June 2022


New issue UMACJ: Pedagogy Hub

University collections and museums are increasingly used for teaching. The latest issue of the University Museums and Collections Journal (Vol. 13, No. 2), edited by Alistair Kwan and Andrew Simpson, brings together essays from all over the world on the roles of university collections for state of the art pedagogy. 

As Alistair Kwan writes in the issue: “As this collection of essays shows, there are important things for university museums and collections—as hubs—to contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning, and to the steering of our universities into exercising their sociocultural, epistemic and economic privileges more critically, more wisely, more ethically, more influentially over the coming century of widely anticipated struggle.”

Access the issue here.


New Museum Definition

Last week, the ICOM Advisory Council approved the museum definition proposal to be voted at the General Assembly in Prague next August.

“A museum is a not-for-profit, permanent institution in the service of society that researches, collects, conserves, interprets and exhibits tangible and intangible heritage. Open to the public, accessible and inclusive, museums foster diversity and sustainability. They operate and communicate ethically, professionally and with the participation of communities, offering varied experiences for education, enjoyment, reflection and knowledge sharing.”

Read more here.