A Practical Guide to Museum Ethics

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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Incorporated, 2016 - Business & Economics - 244 pages
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Are your collections up for grabs? Does the spouse of one of your trustees have too much to say about developing the exhibition schedule? How much is too much public participation? Where does a curator's authority begin and end? With money increasingly difficult to raise, is a museum more likely to accede to potential funders' demands even when those demands might compromise the museum's integrity? When a museum is struggling with debilitating debt, should the sale of selected items from its collections and the use of the resulting proceeds bring the museum into a more stable financial position? When a museum attempts to build its attendance and attract local visitors by crowdsourcing exhibitions, is it undermining its integrity? Ethical questions about museum activities are legion, yet they are usually only discussed when they become headlines in newspapers. Museum staff respond to such problems under pressure, often unable to take the time required to think through the sensitive and complex issues involved. Grounded in a series of case studies, A Practical Guide to Museum Ethics confronts types of ethical dilemmas museums face and explores attempts to resolve them in chapters dealing with -accessibility, disability, and diversity; -collections; -conflict of interest; -governance; -management; -deaccessioning; and -accountability and transparency. Suitable for classroom use as well as a professional reference, here is a comprehensive, practical guide for dealing with ethical issues in museums.

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About the author (2016)

Sally Yerkovich is the director of the Institute of Museum Ethics at Seton Hall University and an adjunct professor in the Museum Professions Program at Seton Hall as well as in the Museum Anthropology Program at Columbia University. A member of the Ethics Committee for the International Council of Museums (ICOM), the only international organization representing museums and museum professionals, she worked extensively with museums in Central and Eastern Europe as President of the Fund for Arts and Culture. She is a trained mediator for arts and cultural heritage issues. A cultural anthropologist with over thirty years of experience in high profile cultural institutions in New York and Washington, DC, she held leadership positions at the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts, South Street Seaport Museum and Museum of the City of New York. She was president and CEO of The New Jersey Historical Society, interim executive director at the Museum for African Art, and first president of the Tribute NYC Center.

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