museumandsociety – front page2019-01-24T14:03:58+00:00



A museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment.

The ICOM definition of a museum is clear and includes the role of museums as active social agents in raising awareness about the challenges we face today and in promoting positive changes in society.

The role of a social agent involves the inclusion of local communities, promoting unheard voices and correcting mistakes in our common understanding of the past. This work is rewarding and challenging and there is a need to learn from each other.

This website is the English version of museumsetikk.no, a Norwegian database of various museum projects, tips on relevant literature as well as courses and seminars.

The purpose is to help more museums work as active social agents.

Ways of Seeing

The last couple of weeks we have seen an interesting discussion and maybe personal tragedy unfold itself in Norway. The case involved the Norwe […]

Museums and society in the media 

The Horrors of Auschwitz at a Museum in New York

A boxcar of the kind the Nazis used to transport people like cattle. The barracks where they slept jammed into narrow bunks. The posts from fences that caged them in. A canister once filled with the poison gas pellets that sealed their fate.

A Lynching Memorial Is Opening. The Country Has Never Seen Anything Like It.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – In a plain brown building sits an office run by the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles, a place for people who have been held accountable for their crimes and duly expressed remorse. Just a few yards up the street lies a different kind of rehabilitation center, for a country that has not been held to nearly the same standard.




In censoring a ‘Queer Museum,’ Brazil edges closer to authoritarianism

An art show has become Brazil’s latest political battleground. For those who didn’t get to see the 270 LGBTQ-themed works that comprise ” Queer Museum,” good luck: You may never see them. The exhibition, until recently on display at the Santander Cultural Center in Porto Alegre, was abruptly closed on September 10, fully one month early.

Can Museums Be Neutral?

A few months ago, Mike Murawski, in partnership with LaTanya Autry of the Mississippi Museum of Art and The Empathetic Museum, created t-shirts to support a “Museums are not Neutral” campaign. Murawski wrote, “Museums have the potential to be relevant, socially-engaged spaces in our communities.

Why museums need their own ethics departments | Apollo Magazine

Ethical questions about art arise frequently and command public attention. It’s time for museums to invest in sustained, open-ended research




Established by Vest-Agder-Museum, with support from Arts Council Norway.