chapter  V
20 Pages

Taking a Critical Stance on Museum Practice

At the Van Abbe Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver (MCA Denver) we fi nd a different, often experimental approach to visitor engagement. Here, energetic leaders, while engaging audiences in new ways, also take a critical stance toward museums as public institutions. Both museums use social practice as a tool to engage visitors in “the life of art.” Whether through live events (MCA Denver) or through radical in-gallery interpretive approaches or games (Van Abbe), their leaders see the museum’s job as one of critical engagement, with or without the use of traditional museum collections/objects.