Evening lectures on university museums in Japan

Organised as part of the conference Discovery, Display and Debate: New Agendas for University Museums by the Sainsbury Institute for Art*, University of East Anglia, and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

Once, university museums were academic temples. They were often filled with esoteric specimens and tools collected and used by academics and students, and their raison-d’être was largely unchallenged. They were there because they were somehow important for the university.

Today, faced with financial pressure and new theories in museum studies that encourage more engagement with the wider public, university museums seek to be more outward-looking – they now want to be academic fora. However, this shift from temple to forum is not as straightforward as it may seem, because of the academic nature of their collections, and also due to their mission to undertake specialised research, teaching, and public engagement at the same time. While university museums across the world are now grappling with this new challenge, two in Japan have been singularly successful – and yet remain unknown in the UK.

The evening lectures will present fascinating activities by the university museums of the universities of Tokyo and Kyoto, which are at the forefront of innovative exhibition programmes crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Date: 25 October 2012, 6pm
Venue: Weston Room, Norwich Cathedral Hostry, Norwich, NR1 4DH
Email: b.youngman@uea.ac.uk
Web: www.sifa.uea.ac.uk
Organiser: Sainsbury Institute for Art

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