CONF: Making Museum Professionals, 1850-Present (London, 23 May 2023)

Registration is open for the workshop ‘Museum Work: Hierarchies and Barriers, Exclusion and Inclusion’, 23rd May, 2023. This event considers how hierarchies within and barriers to museum work have developed historically and are in evidence today, and how such hierarchies were and continue to be challenged and negotiated by those excluded and disempowered by museums. This is the first workshop from the new AHRC-funded research network, Making Museum Professionals, 1850-the present.

The network brings together academics and museum professionals to investigate the past, present and future of museum work. We seek to support and develop campaigns for fairness, inclusion and transparency in the museum sector by investigating the historical roots of the museum professions and the structures that supported them, from the birth of the modern museum (c. 1850) to the present day.

For more information, about this and other workshops, as well as the network, see:

You can also follow us on twitter @makingmusejobs

Tickets: Eventbrite


Dr Errol Francis (Artistic Director and CEO, Culture&) 

Professor Fiona Candlin (Birkbeck) 

Louise McAward-White, Fair Museum Jobs 


9.30-10.00 Arrival, refreshments and registration

10.00-10.15 Welcome

10.15-10.45 Keynote 1 Dr Errol Francis (Artistic Director and CEO, Culture&) 

Towards inclusivity and relevance in UK arts and heritage

10.45-12.00 Session 1 Creating and contesting professional identities

Kirsty Kernohan, ‘An excellent guide to her own museum’: intersections of women’s knowledge and racism on a visit to the Royal Victoria Institute, Trinidad, 1897

Hoyee Tse, Diversification and Diversity: the Employment of Asian Museum Professionals in the UK

Tamsin Russell, Museum work: a provocation

Andrea Meyer, Modernizing the Museum – Initiatives and Crises of the German Museums Association (1917-1933)

12.00-12.30 Keynote 2 Professor Fiona Candlin (Birkbeck) 

DIY Museums: Opportunity and Inequity

12.30-1.30 Lunch (not provided)

1.30-2.45 Session 2 Reframing expertise: pay, affiliation and status

Kathleen Lawther, Motivations, money and management: impacts on collections work

Mark Liebenrood, Li Yuan-Chia and the LYC Museum – an artist as amateur curator?

Liliana Milkova, Inclusive Collection Interpretation and the Gallery Guide Program at the Yale University Art Gallery

Amara Thornton, Museum Lectures in Context: Beyond Notability and the Peripatetic Lecturer

2.45-3.15 Break, refreshments

3.15-3.45 Keynote 3 Louise McAward-White, Fair Museum Jobs 

Title to be confirmed

3.45-5.15 Session 3 Representing the professional: language and image

Nicky Reeves, Making Museum Work

Lewis Ryder, The Museum and the Pest: The Contest for Cultural Authority in Early Twentieth-Century British Museums

Samantha Evans, The Museum of them and us: boundaries, hierarchies, and class- based inequality in UK museum work

Jennifer Warren, Professionalism and The ‘Progressive’ Art Museum: The Case of MACBA

5.15-5.30 Final thoughts 

Organized by

Dr Claire Wintle (she/her)

Principal Lecturer, History of Art and Design

Course Leader, MA Curating Collections and Heritage

Co-Director, Centre for Design History

University of Brighton