I think that art museums should each work to fulfill its own choice of function. There should be museums that protect and preserve, museums that educate, museums that exist as a social space or as a space for reflection. Working toward a particular function helps a museum have success, but for museums as a whole to resonate with the people, they should come in the wide variety that they do in the U.K.

For museums to survive in our economic age, they will need to work with the education system. It’s important that children learn at a young age to appreciate museums. Ideally, this would become more than mass outings to museums. There needs to be smaller groups of kids interacting with the art. There needs to be adults trained to work with kids who can work with small groups at a time. It would be great if parents could be encouraged through the school system to take their kids to museums. I think that schools should help kids find an appreciation for art. If its done at an early age, then kids will be less resistant than they would be in high school.

Something else that would be fantastic would be travelling art shows. If there was a way to safely (and inexpensively) take over an elementary school’s gym and fill it with works from a museum, then kids would have an opportunity to create an emotional connection to art. I can remember being awed at the transformation of our plain white gym for parties, bowling days, and gymnastic days. I think minimally supervised museum visits, and the current method of introducing great art in high school don’t do enough to teach kids how to appreciate art.