Met announces launch of Global Leaders Colloquium

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has announced the inaugural launch of the Global Leaders Colloquium. In the spring of 2014, directors of institutions from around the world will come together for a two week pilot programme to further develop knowledge.
Created and hosted by the museum, the gathering will focus on how to amplify international discourse on how to foster greater establishment best practice, deliver more accurate and effective insight into curating collections – display and research – and ensuring that valuable works are looked after.
Thomas P. Campbell, director and chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, said that the organisation had a far-reaching history, commenting that 143 years ago it was founded with a decidedly international perspective in mind.
“This global approach is now reflected in our collections, programs, and audience,” he went on to say.
“Given the breadth and depth of our holdings, it is our responsibility to encourage a dialogue that can benefit museums worldwide, one that reinforces their relevance and encourages their appropriate stewardship.”
The museum has therefore ensured that directors from key areas are represented accordingly at the meeting. There is a particular emphasis on including figures from Latin America, Asia and Africa, in recognition of the growing prominence of these regions in terms of art and culture.
At present, the Met anticipates the sessions will seek to encompass key areas of debate, including education, curatorial research, collections management, fundraising, governance, conservation and digital communications.
What this suggests, as the museum describes it, is a 360-degree view of current practices. In attempting to cover all aspects of the day-to-day operations, the first colloquium will, it is hoped, deliver detailed and engaging results.
“There is a surprising lack of opportunity for museum directors, especially from developing regions, to come together for a sustained exchange of ideas and expertise,” András Szántó, the colloquium’s moderator and a museum analyst said.
“This global colloquium will be such a forum. It is founded on the premise that, despite our cultural and economic differences, institutions and their leaders have much to learn from each other.”
What sets this gathering apart from other similar events is the weight being placed on cooperation. At its base is an altruism that seeks to better the lot of the collective whole rather than the individual.
One of the key observations from the Met is that every institution faces similar difficulties, therefore, in working together as a collective entity, they can “function as a laboratory for crystallising viable approaches to common challenges in museum leadership”.
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