Policy Press

What Are Museums For?

By Jon Sleigh

Published

Jun 25, 2024

Page count

160 pages

Browse the series

What Is It For?

ISBN

978-1529231397

Dimensions

203 x 127 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

Jun 25, 2024

Page count

160 pages

Browse the series

What Is It For?

ISBN

978-1529231403

Dimensions

203 x 127 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press
What Are Museums For?

The days when museums were dusty, stuffy institutions displaying their wealth and wisdom to a reverential public are over. Museums today are a cultural battleground. Who should decide what is put on display and how it is presented? Who gets to set the narrative?

In this passionately argued book, Jon Sleigh maintains that museums must be for all people and inclusion must be at the heart of everything they do. But what does good inclusion look like in practice? Cleverly structured like a museum tour, Sleigh uses seven illustrative museum objects from seven very different museums to explore such wide-ranging issues as trust-building, representation, digital access, conflicting narratives, removal from display and restitution.

"The coffee conversations with museum changemakers we have been waiting for. Emotional, insightful, and deeply human." Angela Stienne, University of Leicester

Jon Sleigh is a freelance arts and heritage Learning Curator, working nationally connecting audiences with artworks and collections for their advocacy. He was formerly Learning Officer for the Arts Council Collection based at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

1. Introduction: The Emotional Museum Encounter

2. The Classical Museum

3. The Museum in Service of Others

4. The Digital Museum

5. The Museum and Trust

6. The Queer Museum

7. The Changing Museum

8. The Future Museum?