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The Future of Museums with Brent Glass

April 02, 2012

Museums in the 21st Century will undergo significant changes as they grapple with increased public expectations in the face of dwindling financial support.  In addition, museums must face the rapid advances in technology that challenge their more traditional roles as collection and preservation institutions.  The college, along with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, will host a talk with Brent Glass, Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.  Dr. Glass’ talk, The Future of Museums, will examine the role of museums in our digital age and focus on the partnerships, strategic advantages, and opportunities necessary to remain effective. Most importantly, Dr. Glass will address how museums continue in their traditional roles when faced with new challenges and threats from internal and external sources.

Dr. Glass’s free talk will be on Wednesday, April 11, 7 p.m., at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (1900 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA).   As director of the National Museum of American History, he 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% increase over previous years and the Museum’s web site has an additional 8 million visitors.  Before joining the Smithsonian, Glass served from 1987-2002 as executive director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.