While the coronavirus pandemic has had wide-reaching financial impacts, the museum sector has been particularly badly hit. A UNESCO report showed that 85,000 museums around the world have closed their doors over the last few months, losing crucial revenue. It is estimated that one in three of these museums will have to downsize to survive, while 13% may have to close down permanently – this would be the closure of over 10,000 museums worldwide.
One UK museum director described the current situation as akin to a “cultural bonfire”, as even those museums which survive may have to sell off valuable historic artefacts into private hands in order to cover losses. In further bad news, a recent survey in Britain indicated that almost a third of population would not feel safe returning to museums for a long time, even if they are open. The impact is likely to extend well beyond museums to the art sector as a whole.
In this seminar, chaired by James Harding, renowned museum directors from the UK and Japan will discuss the challenges faced by museums and exhibitions around the world during the current coronavirus crisis, as well as the way these institutions will need to transform themselves in the future.
Date: Wednesday 30 September 2020
UK Time: 12:00pm-1:00pm (GMT+1)
Japan Time: 8:00pm-9:00pm (GMT+9)
About the contributors
Frances Morris has been Director of Tate Modern since 2016. Curator, writer and broadcaster, Frances joined Tate in 1987 becoming Head of Displays at Tate Modern in 2000 and Director of Collections, International Art from 2006. Alongside many exhibition projects and publications, including acclaimed retrospectives of Louise Bourgeois, Yayoi Kusama and Agnes Martin, Frances has led the transformation of Tate’s International Collection, strategically broadening and diversifying its international reach, developing the collecting of live art and performance and pioneering new forms of museum display.
Mami Kataoka is Director of Mori Art Museum. Prior to this appointment in January 2020, she served as Chief Curator at Mori Art Museum from 2003-2019 as well as International Curator at the Hayward Gallery in London from 2007-2009. Kataoka was previously Chief Curator at the Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery from 1998-2002, Co-artistic Director of the Gwangju Biennale in 2012 and Artistic Director of the Biennale of Sydney in 2018. President of CIMAM from 2020-2022. Chair of Contemporary Art Committee – Art Platform Japan [Initiative by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan] from 2018. Kataoka frequently writes, lectures, and juries on contemporary art from Japan, Asia and beyond.
James Harding (Chair) is the Co-founder and Editor of Tortoise Media, and prior to this was Director of News and Current Affairs at the BBC, the world’s largest news organisation. He was the Editor of The Times from 2007-2012, winning the Newspaper of the Year in two of the five years he edited the paper. He was previously The Times Business Editor, having joined from The Financial Times, where he worked as Washington Bureau Chief, Media Editor and China correspondent opening the paper’s bureau in Shanghai in 1996. He is the author of Alpha Dogs- How political spin became a global business and he presented On Background on the BBC World Service with Zanny Minton-Beddoes, editor of The Economist.