Beyond the Turnstile: Making the Case for Museums and Sustainable Values (Hardback)
  • Beyond the Turnstile: Making the Case for Museums and Sustainable Values (Hardback)

Beyond the Turnstile: Making the Case for Museums and Sustainable Values (Hardback)

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Hardback 216 Pages / Published: 16/02/2010
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Beyond the Turnstile argues that museums are indispensable to civil society, especially in an era in which museums often are reduced to cultural businesses or "edu-tainment" sites. Is it inevitable that a museum's success will be measured solely by how many people come through the door and how much money they spend? The eminent contributors to this volume provide museum leaders with a different set of criteria for evaluating the success of their museums, proposing a set of sustainable values that can help museums preserve themselves and advance their social mission in hard times-and help them thrive when times improve. While attendance and money will continue to count and be counted in our museums, numbers alone can never drive sustainable success. Only the unique dynamic identity that a museum can claim will do that.

Publisher: AltaMira Press,U.S.
ISBN: 9780759112216
Number of pages: 216
Weight: 667 g
Dimensions: 265 x 186 x 22 mm

The timing could hardly be better for this guide to values that can sustain museums over time. Today, under economic pressures, museums are tempted to resort to stopgap strategies - in relation to collections, exhibitions, and diverse publics - that may keep the doors open but often threaten long-term institutional credibility. Selma Holo, Mari-Tere Alvarez, and the distinguished colleagues they have gathered in Beyond the Turnstile offer those professionally involved with museums the opportunity to return to core principles. Equally importantly, they provide museum visitors and patrons guidelines about what they have a right to expect, even in difficult circumstances. -- Steven D. Lavine, President, California Institute of the Arts; co-editor, Exhibiting Cultures and Museums and Communities
Beyond the Turnstile does more than make the case that museums are essential for the way we need to live; it provides both clarity and multiple perspectives to help us articulate and implement the values that enrich the lives of our communities. -- John L. Gray, President and CEO, Autry National Center of the American West
Selma Holo and Mari-Tere Alvarez's book is an urgently important and compelling statement from leading authorities on museums today. More than anything I've read lately, Holo makes the case for transforming the traditional museum into a vital, creative, and groundbreaking entity that is truly relevant to the creative individual, the museum professional, contemporary society, and the issues of our time. This is absolutely must-reading for anyone in the museum field. -- Richard Koshalek, Director, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Co-editor Holo's introduction is subtitled "A Crisis Is a Terrible Thing to Waste"; this reflects the theme of the book in general. It incorporates creative ideas and suggestions from a wide range of sources. . . . This is a strong collection, unique in its focus and perspective. . . . Recommended. * CHOICE, April 2010 *
The last few decades saw the rise of the business model for museums, with greater accountability, financial skill, and fundraising ability on demand for directors and many others in the professions. Selma Holo argues in her introduction to Beyond the Turnstile that this shift in focus was valuable, creating stronger and more transparent institutions. Yet she believes museums must now move beyond number crunching and recognize that they need, 'first and foremost, to represent unique and sustainable values.' The book outlines 10 such principles, including public trust, relevance, globalization, and communication; each discussion is bolstered by multiple essay contributions. Only in fulfilling those values, Holo argues, can museums 'articulate and claim their indispensability to society and its continuing betterment.' * Diplo: Towards more inclusive and effective diplomacy, April 2010 *
Although I normally hesitate to use the word 'masterpiece,' especially about the cultural icon of icons, the contemporary museum, in this case the word is appropriate for three big reasons. First, this book defines the contemporary state of museums and foretells what changes are necessary for a sustainable future. The second may come as a surprise, perhaps even to the editors; the book is not only about museums but offers lessons for all knowledge- and performance-based institutions: universities, symphony orchestras, theater companies, and many others. Finally, while every stakeholder of museums should make this book required reading, I believe all educated people will benefit from this compilation of indispensable essays by many of the world's most influential thinkers. -- Warren Bennis, Distinguished Professor of Business Administration, University of Southern California
Holo and Alvarez give a kaleidoscopic view of how we approach success for museums by casting nets far and wide to present our institutions in a holistic manner....Beyond the Turnstile is a timely publication that lessens the fear of trying new things with this collection of innovative museum practices. Movement towards a place off vulnerability is encouraged to propel the museum forward and reaffirm the critical role that they serve in our society. * AASLH History News, Summer 2010 *
This is one of the few efforts by museum professionals that attempts to address the emerging challenge of sustainability with which societies around the world are grappling. It raises many interesting questions and offers food for thought and discussion across the museum field. * Visitor Studies *
Here is an informative and thought-provoking book about that elusive "why" of museums. What is, after all, the sustainable value of our institutions? Have we placed too much emphasis on the economic measures of success and too little on how museums impact the lives of our visitors and communities?....There is a refreshing geographical and experiential diversity among the essayists, with Mexico being especially well represented, along with Iraq, Turkey, Venezuela, New Zealand, and several other countries. * Bookshelf *
We have a museums crisis on our hands and this should stimulate museum and heritage professionals, as well as community activists to initiate a public debate on this matter. * South African Archaeological Bulletin *

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