Art Museum Education in Transition
Abstract This essay examines the educational practices at the Moderna galerija, a national museum of modern and contemporaiy art in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in the last twenty years. Its aim is to reflect on the museum education in relation to broader historical context, of the former Yugoslavia (the country Slovenia was a part of until 1991) and discuss how social, political, and economic changes affected art museum education today. A special emphasis is given to the art museum’s educational practices in the 1970s, which embodied the socialist doctrine of “education to the people.” After the breakup of Yugoslavia, the development of the profession depended on the individual states. The author briefly mentions two museums in the former state where educational practices present case studies of good practice. The main part of the essay concentrates on selected case studies carried out at the Moderna galerija. With the prospects of overcoming the present difficult economical situation, the author hopes that museum educators in the territories of the former Yugoslavia will again find the way to collaborate, appreciate what was worth keeping in the common legacy, and join forces to critically respond to the rising commercialization and popularization representing a threat to all new states in transition.