Making A Good End: How to Close a Museum

It is commonly understood that a museum is forever, that its collections and stories are held in the public trust in perpetuity. But museums do close. When closing is inevitable how can the process be done properly, meeting both legal and ethical standards? Beginning with a review of what causes a museum to close, this webinar will provide the specific actions needed to bring a “good end”, including legal requirements, collections disposal, maintaining community relations, and recognizing the deep commitments of founders and other stakeholders. Case studies will be used to illustrate specific points and ideas.

janice_kleinJanice Klein is a consultant specializing in small museum administration and collections management. Currently, working as the Executive Director of the Museum Association of Arizona, she created a plan for the disposition of the collections of the Phoenix Museum of History when it closed in 2010.

She has over 25 years of museum experience, including ten as Registrar of the Department of Anthropology at The Field Museum, Chicago and eight as the Executive Director of the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian (Evanston IL). She has organized and more than 50 professional workshops and conference sessions on issues ranging from the computerization of collections to public relations for small museums.

Recorded: Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Duration: 1 Hour 29 minutes


How to Close a Museum PowerPoint Slides


Handout Making a Good End


Reflections on Institutional Trauma, Elaine Heumann Gurian