Conference report and results Sustainable Dialogues International Museum Conference

This report lists the results of the Sustainable Dialogues International Museum Conference, based on the outcome of our inquiry distributed among participants.

The main objective of the first Sustainable Dialogues International Museum Conference 2016 was to improve the quality and efficiency of the collaborations between Dutch and Russian museums, particularly in the field of museum education. We aimed to stimulate the exchange of knowledge and ideas between Russian and Dutch museum professionals and tried to contribute to the long and rich history of cooperation between Russia and the Netherlands.

New Frontiers and Social Powerhouses
On Monday 18 April we covered the theme ‘New Frontiers for Museum Management’. We focussed on new partnerships between museums and other organisations in enhancing quality, sharing knowledge, reaching larger audiences and exchanging collections. Various partnership models were discussed that focus on reinforcing the prominent role of museums in society.

On Tuesday 19 April we addressed the theme ‘Museums as Social Powerhouses’.  We reflected on the role of museums as turbines of urban cultural life that reinforce social cohesion and become places of inclusion. Social responsibility, social cohesion and social empowerment have become paramount objectives in their strategies. We touched upon the changing role of museums in society in a series of presentations, workshops and study visits. Topics of conversations were: museum education for people with a disability, neighbourhood participation programmes, learning in the digital era, public engagement and the creation of awareness.

For more information about the programme, speakers and participants of the ‘Sustainable Dialogues’ International Museum Conference, please see our conference booklet

In this report DutchCulture, Foundation SAM and ICOM Russia list the results of the Sustainable Dialogues International Museum Conference, based on the outcome of our inquiry distributed among participants of the conference

The inquiry focussed on the role of the conference in giving participants new insights in the development of the Dutch and Russian museums sector, with a special focus on museum education, possible partner organisations and the way in which the organizers could support the follow-up of new partnerships. This report solely lists new partnerships and future collaborations, which were initiated or further developed during the conference. Perhaps needless to state, but many of the results listed below derive from years of intensive collaboration between Dutch and Russian organizations. The answers on the questions regarding new insights and support of the organizers will be used while organizing the next edition of the museum conference in 2017.

Results Sustainable Dialogues International Museum Conference 2016:

  • The State Russian Museum (St. Petersburg) and the State Museum of History and Religion (St. Petersburg) invite Theodorus Meereboer (Reinwardt Academy, Amsterdam), Judith Whitlau (Jewish Historic Quarter, Amsterdam) and Mariëlle Pals (National Museum of World Cultures, The Netherlands) to participate in the conference ‘Museum Space and the Spectator: Modern possibilities in Theory’. The conference is organized by the State Russian Museum and takes place from 5 till 7 October in Saint Petersburg.
  • The Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven) examines the possibilities of exchanging works of young Dutch and Russian artists. In June, Willem Jan Renders (curator of Russian art at the Van Abbemuseum) travelled to Nizhny Novgorod to discuss the collaboration with the Volga-Vyatka Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts.
  • The Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven) and the State Russian Museum (St Petersburg) examine the possibilities of collaborating on an exhibition on Malevich and El Lissitzky. In June, Willem Jan Renders (curator of Russian art at the Van Abbemuseum) travelled to St. Petersburg to discuss this collaboration.
  • The Polytechnical Museum (Moscow) and the Reinwardt Academy (Amsterdam) continue their collaboration in 2016-2017. The Polytechnic Museum and the Higher School of Economics (Moscow) created an educational programme called ‘Museum Studies’ within the Cultural Studies and Design Faculty. The Reinwardt Academy will take part in developing the new programme.
  • The Volga-Vyatka Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (Nizhny Novgorod) looks into the possibility of organizing an exhibition on Dutch design together with the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam).
  • The Volga-Vyatka Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (Nizhny Novgorod) wants to invite Russian art specialist Sjeng Scheijen for a lecture on the demise of the Russian Avant-garde. The lecture is scheduled in Nizhny Novgorod in 2017.
  • The Volga-Vyatka Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts (Nizhny Novgorod) plans to send their curators and researchers to the Netherlands for a work visit. During their stay they will explore the collections of the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven) and other Dutch institutions to help them prepare for future exhibitions.
  • ArtTube continued the discussion with the State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg) and Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (Moscow) on the possibilities of collaborating in a collective video channel for art and design by museums in Russia.
  • The Polytechnic Museum (Moscow) and Twents Techniekmuseum HEIM (Hengelo) explore possibilities for cooperating and sharing knowledge on transition strategies and new educational approaches.
  • The State Historical Museum (Moscow) and the Zaans Museum (Zaandam) discover the possibilities of digitally presenting the Czar Peter House of Zaandam in Moscow. In 2016 representatives of the State Historical Museum visit their colleagues in Zaandam to discuss the collaboration.
  • The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts (Moscow) works on the enlargement of the museum. In the next five years a new museum quarter will be created, with five new branches, each focussing on a different discipline. The Pushkin museum intends to invite several Dutch curators to create new exhibitions in the future branches.
  • Elena Melkumova of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (Moscow) will be enrolled in the Masters programme Museology at the Reinwardt Academy in Amsterdam during the academic year 2016-2017.
  • Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven) and Garage Museum for Contemporary Art (Moscow) intend to share knowledge on working with audiences with special needs.
  • In 2017 the Khardziev Foundation organizes a symposium in collaboration with the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam). Various Russian experts and institutions will be involved.
  • Foundation for Cultural Inventory (Amsterdam) and State Tretyakov Gallery (Moscow) organize a lecture series in 2016. On 15 June Professor Emeritus of conservation and restoration at the University of Amsterdam Anne van Grevenstein gave a lecture on the restauration of The Lamb of God (Ghent Altarpiece) of the brothers Van Eyck in Moscow. Later this year Kate Seymour (Head of Education at Stichting Restauratie Atelier Limburg, Maastricht) will give a lecture on conservation and restoration in Moscow as part of the lecture series.
  • Foundation for Cultural Inventory (Amsterdam) works with the State Historic Museum (Moscow) on a project about Nicolaes Witsen, which is scheduled to take place in Moscow in 2017/18.
  • Hans Looijen, director of museum Het Dolhuys (Haarlem), will be included in a lecture series organised by the Consulate General of the Netherlands in St. Petersburg.
  • The Rodchenko Art School (Moscow) investigates possibilities for collaborating with the Amsterdam University of the Arts regarding residences or exchange programmes for art students.
  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (Rotterdam) and Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts (Moscow)  look into possibilities of collaborating in the future. Both museum are specifically interested in knowledge exchange between their management teams.
  • In 2017 the Sustainable Dialogues International Museum Conference for Dutch and Russian museum professionals will be organized again. Most likely the second edition will take place in Russia.