Challenges Facing Museums in the 21st-Century Discussed on October 15 at the Clark

For Immediate Release

October 04, 2006

Historically, people have tended to regard museums conservative in their instincts, responding cautiously to changes in their operating environment, and secure in their moral and intellectual foundations and public standing. However, a little like the banking sector before it, the museum sector is being transformed by the challenges and opportunities of globalization and increased competition. Adrian Ellis, director and founder of AEA Consulting, will discuss this dynamic topic during “Museums in a Changing World Order: The Impact of Globalization and Its Discontents on Museums in the United States and Europe” on Sunday, October 15 at 2 pm. This free lecture is held at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute.

Museums are responding to major trends in the industry including the explosion of the art market, the sheer number of new institutions both private and public that are collecting, and the trend toward “cultural nationalism.” All these trends present museums and collecting institutions with new moral dilemmas and massive strategic challenges. The talk by Ellis looks specifically at the impact the global growth in collecting institutions has on art museums in today’s society.

Ellis is on the board of the Kaufman Center in New York, which comprises Merkin Hall, the Special School of Music and the Lucy Moses Dance School. He was a member of the Governing Council of the National Museums and Galleries of Wales (1996 – 2000) and a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects' Architecture Centre Committee (1997 – 2001). He is on the board of Pathé Pictures, a film production company, and a member of the Getty Leadership Institute's advisory board. He writes and lectures extensively on management and planning issues in the cultural sector. Ellis was responsible for planning and managing the establishment of the Design Museum, which opened on Butlers Wharf, London in 1989. He was educated at University College Oxford and the London School of Economics and has lived in New York since 1998.

The Clark is located at 225 South Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm (daily in July and August). Admission June 1 through October 31 is $10 for adults, free for children 18 and younger, members, and students with valid ID. Admission is free November through May. For more information, call 413-458-2303 or visit


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