Between 2009 and 2011 New Ways partner museums have run large-scale, long-term projects in close partnership with artists to investigate the programme’s research questions: ‘Can curatorship be developed as a collaborative art practice?’ and “How can creative curatorship bring collections to life and broaden, deepen and diversify audiences?

‘These projects are quite extraordinary. One of the things about them is that they are saying something obvious. That with artists, curators and the public, the role of the museum is changing from being the repository of knowledge to a kind of forum of discussion about who we are what we are about and where we want to go as a society.’

Bob and Roberta Smith

‘Contemporary art cannot be a bolt-on. It has a fantastic amount to contribute to the work of museums.’

James Putnam, Independent Curator at Museums Association Conference 2008

‘We need to get over a psychological hump in curatorship before we can really see the potential of collaboration with the visual arts.’

Hedley Swain, Head of Museum Policy at MLA at Museums Association Conference 2008

“The challenge for all museums and galleries is for their collections to reach beyond their walls; to engage people in new ways, through more vivid interpretation and by encouraging people to become active co-producers not merely consumers. Scholarship and connoisseurship remain vital, but … it is important for…. Curators… to realize that they…. are much more than keepers, they are sharers and story-tellers.”

Roy Clare, Chief Executive MLA From Leading Museums, A Vision and Strategic Action Plan for English Museums

Photo: Chris Keenan