Museums are an ancient concept, but modern institutions are always changing to adapt to a changing world. Many museums are working to look at art in new ways and improve the creation process, while others are working on integrating technology into their display systems. Nobody can predict the future, but there are definitely trends that deserve some attention from everyone that values museums.
Museums have traditionally focused on national identities when they classify works for their exhibits. For example, they focus on Chinese art or American culture. That trend is changing. The Guggenheim Museum is starting to focus on more fluid identities. That often means focusing on the works of individual artists rather than the nation itself, or looking into new groupings that reflect the fluidity of local cultures rather than focusing on large groupings.
Taking a Hand in Production
The way that museums acquire their works for an exhibition is also changing. They are increasingly interested in commissioning works for display rather than acquiring works that were created for other patrons. That gives artists the chance to create new pieces that would have been impossible under other circumstances. That is especially important in environments where it is difficult for artists to take creative risks due to funding issues.
This can also help to create bonds between museums. In some cases, one museum will spearhead the creation of a work and then donate it to another facility. That helps to spread the impact of the art among several institutions and can help artists to get recognition for their work.
Technology is also bringing big changes to museums. The most basic application is putting up a digital collection for people to view on the Internet, but electronics can also change how people look at physical exhibits.
For example, a digital display can provide extra information about an exhibit, or allow the user to zoom in on bits and pieces of a digital image even as they look at the real thing. That sort of interaction makes the exhibits much more memorable and helps to give guests a more complete understanding of the art. That is a valuable thing, especially for museums that want to bring art to generations that are used to relying on digital devices.