Care, repair, and the future social relevance of museums
This intervention reflects on examples of UK museum and gallery outreach and engagement activity that took place during the COVID-19 lockdown. This included creative packs sent to people who were shielding, online sessions for mental health service users, and phone services for isolated older adults, part of a range of efforts to continue connections while buildings were closed. Though seemingly limited in scale or impact, I argue that it is in these small acts of care that we might find the renewed relevance of the museum. Drawing on theoretical work on repair (notably Steven J. Jackson), the essay outlines a future social role of museums founded on “care thinking” and oriented towards the communal work of repair.
Author affiliationSchool of Museum Studies, University of Leicester
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