ABSTRACT

Stephen Weil, the renowned museum practitioner and scholar, was crystal clear about a fundamental point: there is no “essence of museum” that must be preserved at all costs.1 Museums exist in, of, by and for society and are obligated to continually ponder their work in an effort to be worthwhile and make a difference. What is essential in this process is the need to keep reflection and dialogue alive, and avoid complacency and the tyranny of outmoded tradition. Equally important is the need for museum boards and staff to remain vigilant and thoughtful in the face of the enormous pressures to conform to the prevailing imperatives of the marketplace. In short, the essential task of all sound leadership and management is to ensure both individual and organizational consciousness.2