The tide was already delivering 2019, when the Museum of Modern Art in New York inaugurated its new building with 100 % of its galleries dedicated to its personal artwork, and introduced a brand new strategy to programming (and membership gross sales) that put assortment shows first. These ought to be golden years for assortment displays, and younger curators particularly ought to take this opportunity to redeploy collections for brand spanking new goals. Look on the Cleveland Museum of Art, whose latest acclaimed present “Stories From Storage” absorbed a whole lot of hardly ever displayed objects — medieval illustrations of plague saints, Tibetan thangka work, animal collectible figurines from interwar Vienna — right into a refrain of latest meanings.
2. Think past the exhibition.
But a present could not at all times be the neatest route. At the Serpentine Galleries in London, the curator Lucia Pietroiusti’s “General Ecology” program has delved into local weather and tradition by conferences, publications, podcasts, studying teams, residencies, movie screenings — and nearly no exhibitions. If the post-Covid museum should first rediscover its personal assortment, it may additionally think about new and interlocking types of programming that stretch effectively previous the gallery partitions. An added bonus: such programming is often cheaper and greener.
3. Join collectively and co-produce.
Opera and dance firms have been doing this for years: when a manufacturing will get expensive, they share the prices after which the glory. A post-Covid museum may distribute the burden of its largest undertakings — as will occur with this fall’s Jasper Johns retrospective, jointly organized by the Whitney and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Institutions rightly seem like getting extra comfy with joint assortment acquisitions, as when the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and J. Paul Getty Museum co-acquired the archive of Robert Mapplethorpe, or the Philadelphia Museum and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts collectively purchased Thomas Eakins’s “Gross Clinic.”
Museums may additionally assist themselves by fashioning extra ongoing partnerships: contemplate L’Internationale, a consortium of seven European fashionable artwork museums (from the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid to SALT in Turkey) with a standard program of exhibitions, debates and on-line tasks. Why shouldn’t a yearslong analysis initiative span two college museums, or three? Might a museum in Minneapolis, with its substantial Somali inhabitants, have an ongoing partnership with one in Mogadishu?
4. Partner past the artwork world.
From the American Museum of Natural History in New York to the Castello di Rivoli exterior Turin, Italy, museums this spring have turned their galleries into vaccination websites. Why not let the medical doctors and nurses keep some time? Joining up with native hospitals, universities, labs and different (well-funded) analysis establishments appears a pure transfer for the post-Covid museum: think about a psychiatrist collaborating on shows of portraiture, or a authorized scholar partaking with the challenges of conceptual artwork.