The RAND Corporation’s Three Challenges for Survival

from The Art Newspaper
September 2005
By Adrian Ellis

[M]useums are ... facing increasing financial pressures as costs rise but revenues ... stabilize or decline. They must also deal with more complex legal, ethical, and operating environments...他们承受着越来越大的压力,以牺牲更多的公众参与为代价 ... collecting, preserving, and interpreting art objects. Although these pressures are felt by most museums, their ability to resolve them has become increasingly unequal.

任何一个经营博物馆的人都能一眼认出这段描述出自 A Portrait of the Visual Arts: Meeting the Challenges of a New Era, a 150-page report about museums, artists and the art market in America published this August by the RAND Corporation.* The report presents a perspective that has moved, over a four or five year period, 从被认为是毫无根据的悲观,到在美国和欧洲的博物馆部门或多或少被接受的智慧.

报告指出,尽管博物馆的参观人数在过去20年里显著增加, 这一增长很大程度上是由于最倾向于参观艺术博物馆的那部分人口的增长(受过教育), better off) rather than to a deeper penetration by art museums of that segment or, better, penetration of a broader social demographic. Moreover, 在同一时期,美国人参观艺术博物馆的频率实际上下降了, notwithstanding the growth in the number and size of museums, in marketing budgets, 艺术博物馆也愿意为更广泛的观众推出大片.

Further growth, it notes, is going to be difficult, 考虑到更广泛的人口变化和更长的工作时间对受众基础的攻击, changing leisure patterns and the home-technology-based entertainment industry (i.e. Tivos, DVDs, movies-on-demand and other accessories of the couch potato).

该报告还生动地说明了排名前1%的博物馆——实际上是美国最大的8家博物馆——和其他99%的博物馆的情况的不同. The 1% receive, astonishingly, 超过40%的捐赠收入,拥有48%的捐赠和资产. RAND has, in earlier reports, 是第一个强调占据bat365官网登录头条的文化组织中少数精英的不同境遇的人, visitors and resources nationally, and the rest, 为了表明从少数人的财富来推断整个行业的财富是多么危险. 这些更有特权的机构可以用来确保收入和贡献收入的策略——非常成功, media campaigns etc. – are simply unavailable to most museums.

在过去的五年里,兰德公司建立了一幅基于经验的、有充分依据的美国文化生活图景,这幅图景导致人们深深吸入, to ask themselves uncomfortable questions. 他们“以现实为基础”的写作方式与很多“以信仰为基础”的写作方式形成了鲜明对比. The reports have focused on the downside of the apparently inexorable growth of the cultural sector; the stresses placed on arts organisations by growth that is clearly not ‘demand (i.e. audience)-driven' but fuelled by the sectors' own rapacious ambitions; and the mixed success of arts organisations in engaging meaningfully with the communities in which they are located and whose tax-base supports them.

诊断应该导致处方,尽管处方显然需要根据各个博物馆的具体情况而定, 兰德的工作提供了一个很好的视角,博物馆可以从这里考虑他们在当前环境下的选择. 对于他们来说,兰德认为博物馆需要面对三个基本的战略挑战.

The first is to bite the bullet and refine the focus of their missions, 在过去的二十年里,哪些博物馆的扩张难以控制,令人难以置信,以至于所有的博物馆都过于渴望成为所有人的万能. 这无疑是正确的,报告将帮助那些试图说服他们的注意力不足困扰资助者,使他们能够诚实地优先考虑. 不同的博物馆在教育方面可以也应该有不同的优先考虑, collecting, stewardship etc.

第二是提高他们衡量在对他们重要的事情上取得进展的能力. 这听起来有点像英国1980年左右的公共部门改革,令人沮丧的是,博物馆并没有自发地更加自律. Pragmatic, 实用的绩效衡量工具现在比比皆是,但博物馆倾向于无休止地争论它们,而不是使用它们.

兰德指出的第三个战略挑战是博物馆需要通过更诚实地了解公众的需求和他们真正det365首页的目的来提高他们的“机构竞争力”, 以及他们是否真的有能力和资金来解决这些问题. 这将要求该行业去除一些它认为必须向世界描述自己的夸张言辞,并采取一种更有争议、更少宣传的视角.

det365首页很容易对精确的名单吹毛求疵,但这些都是许多博物馆可以从诚实中受益的领域, well-informed internal discussion. 这反过来又需要博物馆的领导能力和成熟度,而董事会成员和资助者似乎并不总是会对这些素质给予奖励. However, the emerging diagnostic consensus will, inevitably, 迫使博物馆和资助者采用一种规范的方法,这种方法要更慎重,更符合博物馆所处的充满挑战的环境,而不是简单的“要么发展,要么死亡”,' ‘all things to all people' prescriptions of recent years. 这对美国乃至全世界的博物馆都是非常积极的一步.


* Details of A Portrait of the Visual Arts: Meeting the Challenges of a New Era by Elizabeth H. Ondaatje, et al. can be found at


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