The multifaceted health, social, political, and economic crises of 2020 have hit museums with great force worldwide. At the end of this turbulent year, our panel of eminent American and German museum experts and historians will address the impact of COVID-19 closures as well as other phenomena, such as growing anti-Semitism, racism, conspiracy theories, and disinformation campaigns on museums on both sides of the Atlantic. The panel discussion will consider these challenges, but also, in some cases, potential opportunities for the future. In particular, we will discuss the following aspects: How can museums operate when they are closed to the public? How are massive budget cuts affecting the museums’ work and the cultural landscape more generally? How have museums kept up with collecting, preserving, exhibiting, and educating in 2020? What unusual or innovative digital approaches are being developed? What long-term consequences are we facing with respect to the future of memory cultures, museum collections, and historical research in museums?
Convener/Co-Moderator: Anna-Carolin Augustin (GHI)
Moderator: Monique Scheer (Tübingen University)
Panelist: Sharon Macdonald (CARMAH, Berlin)
Panelist: Emily Bilski (Writer & Curator, Israel/USA/Germany)
Panelist: Christoph Heinrich (Denver Art Museum)
Panelist: Stephanie Stebich (Smithsonian American Art Museum)
Following the panel discussion and questions from the moderators, we will open the floor to questions from the audience. There will be about 20 minutes for the Q&A.