Museums and Coronavirus (1)

I have just handed in my book on museums, due to be delivered today. I had been resisting the encouragement of my editor to refer to Coronavirus on the grounds that the book is about the recent history of museums, not about their present, let alone the future. But in the middle of the night I thought that it might be odd not to make any reference to what the effects of Coronavirus might be, so added the following two sentences.

It will be interesting to find out what validity these thoughts have, if any, in a year’s time when the book is due to be published:-

Once the Coronavirus pandemic has ended, museums will need to review their role, the circumstances of their funding, and may retrench;  they may have to reduce the number of exhibitions which are so dependent on international travel;  they may migrate more of their activities online;  they may have discovered new ways of communicating to their audiences during the period of closure.   There is likely to be a reduction in what Adrian Ellis has described as ‘a decades-long, “physical infrastructure” binge’.[1]


[1] Adrian Ellis, ‘Not a Pretty Picture’, Wall Street Journal, 24 March 2020.

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5 thoughts on “Museums and Coronavirus (1)

  1. That is brilliant, Charles. MANY CONGRATULATIONS.

    Presumably Isolation has helped? In which case, it’s cheery to see some good coming out of Corona.

    When will it be published ? I can’t wait .. .. .. !

    • Dear Mark, It’s due to be published this time next year – March 25th. according to the schedule. What really helped was having three months working in the British Library reading everything I should have read before writing – not so much recent weeks when work has been much more intermittent. Charles

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