Brent Glass, director emeritus of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, will discuss the future of museums on April 11
Museums have long played important roles in collecting and preserving our artistic, scientific and cultural heritage. In recent years, public expectations for museums have increased, while economic support from government and private institutions has decreased. As we enter a new era driven by the rapid evolution of technology, museum operations and management will be forced to adapt while at the same time balancing traditional roles as collection and preservation institutions.
The Future of Museums, featuring Brent Glass, director emeritus of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, will examine prospects and offer recommendations for successful museum management in the 21st century.
The talk, organized by Drexel University’s Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design and The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, will take place on Wednesday, April 11, at 7 p.m. at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA). It is free and open to the public.
Glass will lead a discussion on the role of museums in this new era; what partnerships, strategic advantages and opportunities are necessary to remain effective; and, most importantly, how museums can continue in their traditional role as research institutions when faced with dwindling economic resources.
As director of the National Museum of American History, Glass led a two-year, $87 million renovation and development of 20 new exhibitions for the 2008 reopening, including the major exhibitions on The Star-Spangled Banner; Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life and On the Water: Stories from Maritime America, and 80 public programs and 2,500 theater performances. Since 2008, more than 13 million people visited the institution, a 50 percent increase over previous years, and the museum’s web site has an additional eight million visitors.
Before joining the Smithsonian, Glass served from 1987-2002 as executive director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, managing the largest and most comprehensive state history program in the country, with 25 historical sites and museums, State Archives, State Museum, the State Historic Preservation Office, public history programs and historical publications.